It is a well-known fact that people in the United States really care about how their teeth look. At least 97% of Americans say that having a nice looking smile is important for their romantic life. Almost three-quarters of people in the country say that a bad looking smile can hurt them in the workplace or have a negative impact on their career. Despite all of this, about 32% of people in the nation do not like the way their teeth look. One-quarter of all people will avoid smiling because they do not want others to see their teeth. This is one reason so many people go to their dentists for tooth whitening treatments.
As the popularity of professional tooth whitening has gone up, more and more people are also turning to “do it yourself” or “DIY” methods to get their teeth as white as possible. Now dentists in North Carolina are telling people there that a new fad, the use of activated charcoal is not the way to go to get decent tooth whitening. ABC 11 is reporting on this trend and what dentists think about it.andnbsp;
The substance itself has been around for centuries. People have used activated charcoal as an ingredient in foods, it is considered by some to be a “superfood,” for health reasons and as a beauty treatment. It is a very porous material that is good at absorbing poisons and impurities. When people overdose on medication, they are often made to drink activated charcoal to prevent the digestive system from absorbing the poison or drug. It is also put into juices, facial masks, shakes, and now people are using it for tooth whitening.
Kunal Patel, a Raleigh Raw Staff Educator says that the substance is a natural detoxifier that has a number of uses. He also says that it can be very dehydrating and says that people who do eat or drink activated charcoal need to get enough water and that they should not make this something they do every day. Physicians have said that another issue is that when people drink a juice or shake with the activated charcoal, they may end up negating the impact medications they take has as it will stop it from being absorbed. Most people also think anyone who wants to use this in their lives should talk it over with their physician before they start.
Now family dentists are having their say about the use of activated charcoal to help people with tooth whitening. They say using it can do long-term damage to your enamel.
The reason this substance is so good in a facial mask is that activated charcoal can draw out impurities and oils from the pores in the skin. The properties that make it good for this are also said to be good for tooth whitening. Dental experts are not so sure.
The problem is that activated charcoal is more than just absorbent, it is very abrasive as well. Dr. Anna Abernethy, a dentist in the Raleigh, North Carolina area says there are no long-term studies on how this impacts the enamel and on the tissue of the gums.
The Journal of the American Dental Association (ADA) reported in 2017 that there has been no proof that the treatments that use activated charcoal are effective or even safe for oral health. Some dental services providers warn that using activated charcoal can backfire and leave people with teeth that are more yellow than before they used the charcoal.
Instead of using activated charcoal on their teeth, the ADA has other recommendations for home tooth whitening. Experts there say people should use a tooth whitening toothpaste that has been approved by that organization. They also recommend that people avoid eating food items or drinking beverages that are very acidic. This includes anything with vinegar in it. These items can wear down the enamel. They also say that other remedies for yellow teeth such as turmeric have no real science behind them.
There are things people can do to get more white teeth. Cosmetic dentists all over the country have ways to get their patients whiter and better-looking teeth. Proper cleaning and oral hygiene can also really help a lot.