by Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, DDS
Everywhere you turn there’s a new product that includes charcoal powder, typically labeled as natural activated charcoal.
Whether it’s in a teeth whitening product, or even pizza, frozen yogurt, lemonade, or face masks, activated charcoal is growing in popularity. But...
- is activated charcoal just a trend, or can it really help?
- is activated charcoal safe to use in personal and oral care?
- how do you use activated charcoal?
- does activated charcoal work for teeth whitening?
To give you the short answer, yes activated charcoal has benefits and can be safe — of course, this comes with the disclaimer of when used correctly. We’ll share with you how to use activated charcoal and some tips for safe, at-home activated charcoal teeth whitening.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is created when a high-pressure gas is forced into charcoal granules, which creates a porous surface. This porous surface acts as a magnet to absorb toxins in the body.
And activated charcoal can be sourced in a variety of ways. An incredibly sustainable source of activated charcoal is bamboo, but activated charcoal can also be formed from wood, coconut husks, and coal.
How do you use activated charcoal?
Often, activated charcoal is used as a DIY, at-home teeth whitening method as a natural alternative to teeth whitening kits and teeth whitening strips. However, you can also find activated charcoal in trendy food items because of activated charcoal’s unique, black appearance.
Let’s dive into a few FAQs about the use of activated charcoal:
Question #1: Do you eat activated charcoal?
You can eat activated charcoal, although we don’t recommend this. Activated charcoal can actually be bought in pill or tablet form at health food stores, but this type of activated charcoal is typically used for gas relief or to help reduce bloating.
Activated charcoal is also occasionally used in hospitals to treat cases of accidental poisonings and overdoses because activated charcoal can bind onto toxins quickly.
Question #2: Can you drink activated charcoal?
Yes, you can drink activated charcoal, but again we don’t recommend this. You can actually find lemonades and other drinks that are infused with activated charcoal, but the addition of activated charcoal isn’t necessarily going to detox your body.
If you drink activated charcoal, whatever nutrients from foods or medications that are in your stomach will actually be absorbed by activated charcoal. We recommend letting your body’s natural detox centers, the liver and kidneys, to do the detox work they’re designed to do.
Question #3: Will activated charcoal stain everything black?
If you’re using a facial mask containing activated charcoal once a week, your skin won’t get stained because you won’t be exposing your skin to this dark pigment often.
If activated charcoal is used as an at-home teeth whitening method in the form of a DIY toothpaste, it actually has the potential to stain gums with repeated use.
Think about it, you’re dipping your toothbrush into a, typically, dark activated charcoal powder twice a day, everyday. That means your gums are coming into constant contact with a dark pigment and this pigment can build up into your gum tissues.
Question #4: What does activated charcoal taste like?
If you eat certain foods that contain activated charcoal, you might not be able to detect the taste at all, but some people say that it tastes like cement.
For toothpastes with natural ingredients, you can expect Dr. Brite toothpastes and mouthwashes to taste minty with the help of organic spearmint extract or fruity with organic strawberry extract.
Question #5: What is the best form of activated charcoal? Powdered activated charcoal? Activated charcoal paste? Or liquid activated charcoal?
The best activated charcoal that you can use should be finely-milled in a toothpaste and preferably this activated charcoal should be white activated charcoal so that it doesn’t stain the gums.
Does activated charcoal work for teeth whitening?
Activated charcoal can naturally whiten teeth because it has abrasive properties that can absorb toxins in your mouth. That being said, we recommend you skip the dark tooth powders that are on market.
These dark toothpaste powders that contain activated charcoal actually have the potential of wearing down your enamel and tattooing your gums. Instead, choose a toothpaste with white, activated charcoal that is balanced with a synergy of botanical, natural ingredients like Dr. Brite’s toothpastes and cleansing mouthwashes.
Activated Charcoal : Do’s and Don’ts
- Do use a toothpaste with natural ingredients and with activated charcoal
- Do make sure your toothpaste uses white activated charcoal
- Do make sure your toothpaste contains a blend of proven holistic, natural, and organic ingredients
- Don’t brush with black activated charcoal by itself as toothpaste
- Don’t eat pricey foods with activated charcoal for health benefits
- Don’t drink pricey detox lemonades with activated charcoal
How to use teeth whitening charcoal?
We suggest start with using our best-selling Whitening Mint Toothpaste and Cleansing Mint Mouthwash that both contain activated charcoal without a dark appearance. You can get them together in The BeBrite Set (and save $6 with discount code: “ACTIVATED”).
You can get the gentle teeth whitening experience and the detoxing oral care benefits of activated charcoal without the worry of unsightly dyed gums or thinner enamel.
Here’s a few articles from our Be Natural blog where you can learn about the teeth whitening benefits of activated charcoal without a gritty mess or a tattooed smile:
- Whitening Teeth with Activated Charcoal: Answers to 5 Frequent Questions
- What to Know to Safely Use Activated Charcoal
- Read This Before You Brush With Activated Charcoal
- Detoxify Your Mouth with Activated Charcoal
- Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening Without Chemicals
Toothpaste & Mouthwash Set »
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