Now, some of you might already be aware of this “hack” and some of you might not but since I came across its quick-action results quite recently, I thought I’d spread the word.
Disclaimer: I don’t have extremely yellow or stained teeth but thanks to the Instagram wave of teeth-whitening videos, I also want to be a part of the Happydent brigade.
So naturally, I Googled how to do that and read upon pages after pages of DIYs till I finally chanced upon this great product. Behold activated charcoal, the miracle absorbent that will leave you feeling clean and sparkly in no time.
Just like any sane person, I was quite skeptical about using a black-holish powder on my teeth. What if I ended up having black teeth for a week? What if it never came out? What if it took out my enamel on the way out!?
Now I’ve used activated charcoal before for food poisoning or an upset stomach and it does a wonderful job of getting rid of toxins, but this was a completely different ball game. When I say it’s pigmented, I mean it stains everything it touches—the crockery, the sink, hands and also your clothes (you might want to use a towel as a bib if you’re going to try this).
But being the risk-taker that I am, I went all out to test its teeth-whitening properties. I ended up staining the t-shirt I was wearing but thankfully not my teeth. Surprisingly, it washed out completely and left my mouth feeling very clean. And of-course there was a visible difference in the whiteness of the pearlies.
Here’s a little breakdown of the process for you guys:
How activated charcoal works
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent compound of carbon. Medically, it has been used to treat oral poisoning. It works by adhering to the toxic substances and getting expelled out of the body via the digestive tract since it cannot be absorbed by the body. It is a great first aid for food poisoning or any other chemical ingestion when help is not on hand. All in all, a great product to have in the house.
How it whitens teeth
Basically the same way it works for poisoning. It adheres to the plaque and stains in the teeth and washes them out when you rinse. You’ll feel really clean after having brushed with activated charcoal.
- Does it affect enamel or pull out calcium from teeth: There are no concrete studies to support this claim. In fact a friend of mine who is a dentist told me that it’s safe to use because it does not adhere to minerals and therefore will not remove the calcium from your teeth. To be on the safe side, it might be best to use this sparingly (like once a month or something). However it is still better to check with your dentist before using any such remedy, especially if you have sensitive teeth.
- Staining of fillings/veneers: I have a couple of fillings in my molars, but the charcoal didn’t appear to stain them at all. I can’t say anything about dental veneers. Again, check with your dentist if you’re skeptical
- Too abrasive for sensitive teeth: The brand that I use comes in a very finely powdered form in a capsule. I personally did not find it abrasive at all. But if you’re concerned about that, you can use it without a brush—just like a mask for your teeth. Let it sit there for a few minutes and wash it out. If you have sensitive teeth, again Dentist calling it is.
- Only works on surface stains: According to what I found during my research, this might not work on teeth that have yellowed due to a medical problem or long term medications. It works best on surface stains since it can easily bind to them.
– Makes your mouth feel really clean
– Balances pH of the mouth (or so the research says)
– Helps prevent cavities and plaque
– Too messy, stains everything
– The teeth whitening thing might not work for everyone (several people on the internet have used it without getting desired results. You might want to check out other videos as well)
What DIY teeth-whitening remedies have you tried? Have they worked? Have you tried this charcoal thing? Let me know in the comments below.