Home whitening/charcoal whitening – Does it work? Is it safe?

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General Dental Care
BDSc (Adel)

Everyone wants to have a nice smile – and teeth whitening, in particular, is one fairly easy way to improve the look of your teeth. There are quite a few over-the-counter teeth whitening products on the market, with charcoal whitening being the new trend in the field.

charcoal whitening

Charcoal whitening claims to be a natural form of teeth whitening. Homeopathic practitioners and health food shops claim that activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance that removes toxins from the body as these toxins adhere to the surface of charcoal when consumed. When the charcoal is applied to teeth it removes surfaces stains that it binds to, stains such as those from tea or coffee. However, as it is only based on topical (direct, surface) contact it cannot work on teeth that have discoloured from internal problems such as age, smoking or antibiotics.

Charcoal has currently not been evaluated or approved by any certified dental association. Dentists are concerned that, while the substance is absorbent, is it is also abrasive and users cannot be sure of the intensity of any charcoal supplement purchased. An abrasive substance applied to tooth enamel may leave the tooth susceptible to deterioration and erosion, which can lead to sensitivity and cavities long term. 

Teeth are the only part of the human ectoderm (which also includes hair, skin and nails) that cannot replenish or repair itself when damaged. Any damage to tooth enamel is permanent and can only be repaired with dental treatment such as fillings or crowns. Therefore it is strongly recommended by dental professionals that anyone interested in teeth whitening treatments should choose those tested and approved by the Australian Dental Association, which include in-chair dental whitening or at-home custom trays provided by their dentists. 

To find out more about the safe and effective teeth whitening treatments that we have available at Smile Solutions, call our friendly team on 13 13 96. 

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