How long have you dwelled on the videos that show this dense mixture with which you brush your teeth the girls who advertise it, ending with an incredibly white and shining smile? Does activated carbon to whiten teeth really work or is it yet another commercial hoax? Let’s find out together.
Activated charcoal, what is it?
Also known as activated carbon, activated vegetable carbon is often sold in para pharmacies, herbalists or supermarkets in the form of tablets.
It is a black powder of natural origin, obtained from the timber of various tree species different from each other, usually poplar, willow and birch.
The product obtained is derived from the wood subjected to a process of carbonization at very high temperatures, about 600° and more, in the absence of oxygen. It is usually prescribed as a natural remedy in case of abdominal swelling, poor digestion, meteorism, aerophagia and even in cases of poisoning by certain substances, due to its high absorbing capacity and detoxifying action. However, this is not a self-medication product: it is always good to hear the opinion of the doctor before starting each treatment.
Activated carbon, natural toothpaste?
Among the latest and last novelties inherent in the use of natural remedies for cosmetics and beauty of the teeth, there would also be the use of activated vegetable charcoal and compounds containing it.
In fact, there are many toothpaste in the market that contain activated charcoal, the captivating black packaging and the impressive dark pasta, often not too cheap, with a price ranging from 5 to 25 dollars for toothpaste.
Last also found a jar that contains coconut oil – already used for oil pulling – and charcoal together. And there are even those who dare do-it-yourself, chopping and grinding the activated carbon and passing it on wet teeth: but let’s see if these remedies really work.
Activated carbon, the opinion of dentists
If on the one hand there is the high absorbing capacity of the charcoal , which can therefore help to retain, taking away plaque, tartar and other substances that ruin and affect the natural white of the teeth, on the other there is the action abrasive of the product, which is not to be underestimated.
The dentists, in fact, say they pay attention and advise against the incorrect use of products such as vegetable carbon or sodium bicarbonate, because in the long run they could permanently ruin the natural enamel layer of the teeth, not only making the yellowish patina emerge, but also weakening them and causing them to chip or break more easily.
According to Jada (Journal of the American Dental Association) there is no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of these products for dental cleaning and bleaching.
If it is true that dentists also use bicarbonate for cleaning teeth, it is true that they know how to use it, how much time to dwell on each individual tooth, which tools and what movements to perform, in order to clean even the periodontal pockets.
Perhaps, and some dental hygiene sites underline it, it is always better to rely on herbs such as sagewhich, thanks to its chemical composition – carnosic acid, phenolic acids, flavonoids and salvin – which favors teeth whitening in a non-aggressive and natural way, also combining an antibacterial, fragrance and disinfectant effect.