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Everyone wants whiter teeth but at what cost?

There are so many products out there. How are you supposed to know what will work for you?

Professional whitening systems have been around for decades. They have been tested and proven to work. I myself have used them since dental school. There was initial concerns with sensitivity but this has become less of an issue since the formulation has been changed and improved. The technique is very simple and safe and the risks are minimal. Custom trays make applications easy whether you do DAY TIME or NIGHT TIME treatments. When prescribed by a dental health care professional you get the best results you can possibly get.

And then there are endless over the counter products. The lasted craze are the ACTIVATED CHARCOAL TOOTHPASTES.

Charcoal comes form coal, wood or petroleum. Activated charcoal is created when the coal is heated in the presence of a gas. This product has more space or internal “pores which gives the charcoal the ability to trap chemicals.

Activated charcoal has been used in medicine to treat poisonings, reduce intestinal gas (flatulence) and lower cholesterol levels. Activated charcoal is also used topically in bandages for helping heal wounds and to improve the appearance of skin. Most recently it has been used in the treatment of acne by purifying pores.

So can activated charcoal whiten your teeth if it binds to toxins? There is no formal evidence that it does. The FDA has approved activated charcoal for health issues but neither the American Dental Association nor the Canadian Dental Association have currently approved it for use in dentistry.

Activated Charcoal has been thought to bind to the stain and absorb plaque therefore possibly making teeth whiter.

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HOWEVER…..Activated charcoal is TOO abrasive and can cause long term damage and wear to teeth. So before using it ask your dentist if there are better alternatives and if not use it with caution.

If you still want to try to use this product to whiten your teeth then follow these simple rules:

  • try to use it only once every other week,
  • if you have a lot of recession you may notice sensitivity so stop right away,
  • use a toothpaste that you can rub on your teeth and not brush on (less abrasive),
  • and use a reputable band.

Blog by Dentists on Bloor

If you have unusual symptoms like bleeding gums and sore teeth speak to your dentists.

Word of caution…. Although anyone can purchase activated charcoal powder, you should consult a dental professional before using it. The best way to keep your mouth happy and healthy is to continue regular dental appointments.


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