Activated charcoal has become the oddball panacea to all our health and beauty woes. It’s used as a detoxifying ingredient in the diet as well as a powerful tool in cleansing the skin. Perhaps its most traditional use in natural living is as a natural teeth-whitener.
Singer-songwriter Drake is hardly one to ignore this phenomenon. Last month, Drake shared a photo of himself smiling at a party. One of his IG followers (@jaydaddydollars) was quick to judge Drake’s appearance, commenting, “Lmao All that money and ur teeth don’t look clean.” Drake was quick to clap back, and in the process, lent us all an oral health tip we should all live by. He wrote, “I have a pink diamond in my tooth…I brush with activated charcoal before any club night where I will see baddies know dattttttttttt.” Here’s what you need to know about “dattttttttttt” (aka activated charcoal and your pearly whites).
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a highly-porous black powder that can be made from a variety of materials such as coconut shells. The charcoal is “activated” by being exposed to very high temperatures, which change its internal structure, reducing the size of its pores while increasing its surface area. This process makes the charcoal more porous than regular charcoal and thus able to absorb, or trap, more toxins and chemicals from in the body. The charcoal literally carries said substances and then is flushed through the digestive system and out of the body.
Activated charcoal has popularly been used as an effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses. It is also a mild treatment for bloating and gas as well as for high cholesterol.
Activated Charcoal and Teeth
Much in the same way that activated charcoal works in the body by trapping toxins, it works on the teeth, but absorbing surface stains, tartar, bacteria, and viruses. By brushing your teeth with activated charcoal powder, you are said to be able to reveal whiter teeth, free of the stains caused by coffee, red wine, tobacco, and dark colored foods, without the use of chemicals.
To use activated charcoal as a teeth whitener, the process is quite simple. All you have to do is dip a clean and wet toothbrush into powdered charcoal and brush your teeth with the toothbrush in gentle circular motions for a few minutes. Rinse and spit. Voila!
The teeth whitening that activated charcoal accomplishes is only enamel deep. That is, it only attacks superficial stains. Any discoloration resulting from intrinsic problems, such as tooth trauma and weak enamel cannot be addressed by activated charcoal alone.
Meanwhile, not everyone can withstand the abrasiveness of the activated charcoal powder. If you have sensitive gums, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal can be both painful and harmful.
Activated charcoal offers a simple and easy solution to teeth whitening that does not involve a doctor’s visit and is quite effective. If you can stand the abrasiveness and don’t have any deeper oral problems, then it makes for the perfect complement to your oral healthcare regimen.
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