It sounds bizarre and perhaps borderline insane, but charcoal actually has the possibility of whitening teeth. Here’s the catch: it’s not the charcoal you may be thinking of, it’s called activated charcoal – a specific kind of charcoal that has been “activated” by the usage of certain gasses. These gasses make the charcoal pure and safe to use in our mouths.
Understand that the charcoal used in barbecues is different from the activated charcoal that we’re talking about in this article. This means that you shouldn’t grab a few charcoal briquettes and place them into your mouth (we’re hoping no one has ever done this!).
Activated charcoal works naturally through a process known as adsorption. Adsorption works like a magnet – in that it draws, or magnetizes, materials away from your teeth and onto the activated charcoal. Specifically, it draws away the tannins that have formed on your teeth from years of staining.
How Can You Use Activated Charcoal?
You can sprinkle activated charcoal into toothpaste or create a tooth powder or you can mix up a charcoal slurry which is created by mixing a small amount of powder with a small amount of water.
You can also hold it in your mouth against the front teeth for a few minutes after you have brushed your teeth.
You can purchase activated charcoal in bulk and use it in powder form or the slurry method described above. This is not always possible and sometimes it is difficult to find charcoal powder, so you can also purchase it in capsules or in tablets.
The capsules can be opened up and poured into water and the tablets can be crushed into a powder. Activated charcoal tablets are widely available at drug stores and health food stores near you.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
This is how activated charcoal works – it draws the impurities out of something and adsorbs them.
Adsorbtion differs from absorption in that it draws materials to it similar to a magnet, and holding those materials inside pores. The area where the charcoal has been used is left clean.
Using activated charcoal can be an effective way to whiten teeth because it draws tannins and removes them from teeth.
Tannins are the ingredient in food that stain your tooth enamel and cause your teeth to look dingy.
The effect of charcoal in the mouth is that it makes your whole mouth black and nasty looking, but it really does do a great job of cleaning up your teeth and removing impurities.