A social media post claims that charcoal toothpaste can whiten teeth in 5 minutes. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False.
A Facebook post displays an image titled, “Great effect for teeth whitening” of a before and after effect of using charcoal toothpaste. It shows that the teeth miraculously turned white in 5 minutes.
Is the natural color of teeth always white?
No. The natural color of teeth can vary naturally. Usually, the color may vary from light to a medium shade of yellow or grayish-yellow. It is influenced by various factors, such as, genetics, age, diet, and oral hygiene. The color may darken over time and stains may appear on both the surface and within the dentine, which is the inner layer of the tooth. Intrinsic discoloration can be due to systemic or pulpal origins, while extrinsic stains enter the dentine through defects like cracks in the tooth. Children may also exhibit intrinsic stains before tooth emergence. External staining occurs due to excessive exposure to substances that discolor tooth enamel, such as alcohol, tea, coffee, or smoking. Additionally, plaque accumulation can also cause teeth to appear yellow.
What causes staining of teeth?
Stains and tooth discoloration are frequent dental concerns that can happen for a variety of reasons. There are three main categories of tooth stains. They are internal, external, and even age-related tooth stains. External tooth staining, which can happen for a variety of reasons, can happen to anyone. Frequently, the cause is the consumption of foods, beverages, and tobacco products with colour, such as cigarettes, cigars, or chewable tobacco. It is possible for internal tooth staining to be brought on by tooth decay, injury, and even some medications. These tooth stains could be yellow, brown, grey, or even black in colour. Additionally, the colour of the teeth can also be influenced by genes.
Can charcoal toothpaste whiten teeth in 5 minutes?
No, there is no scientific evidence to prove that charcoal toothpaste can whiten teeth in 5 minutes. Firstly, it takes a few weeks of regular use to see any noticeable difference in the whiteness of your teeth and that too occurs as Charcoal toothpaste is mildly abrasive, which can help remove surface stains. But, it does not have any effect on stains below the enamel. In order to whiten teeth, a product needs to work on both surface and intrinsic stains.
Activated charcoal is a common component of teeth-whitening toothpaste, but there isn’t any substantial proof that it works to whiten teeth. The charcoal is a fine-grained powder made from wood, coconut shells, and other natural materials that have been oxidized at high temperatures and might serve as an occasional surface cleaner. But, using it for a long period of time could harm enamel because of its abrasive nature. Furthermore, it can also result in tooth sensitivity, staining, and cavity fillings dislodgement.
Dr. Pratyasa Bagchi, our dental expert, about whether activated charcoal could whiten teeth, cautioned that there was no proof that activated charcoal whitened teeth. The fact that activated charcoal acts as an abrasive cannot be ignored, despite the fact that it has been widely used in toothpastes for teeth whitening. However, while it undoubtedly gets rid of some surface stains, it cannot stop severe stains like yellowing or plaque development. Thus, it should only be used in moderation under the guidance of your dentist.
THIP Media has already proved that the main component of this toothpaste, i.e., activated charcoal cannot whIten teeth effectively.
It must be noted that the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste can vary from person to person. Some people may see noticeable improvements in teeth whiteness, while others may not experience significant changes. Additionally, its effectiveness depends on the cause of the discoloration. Surface stains caused by food, drinks, and smoking can often be removed with abrasives, such as, charcoal toothpastes. However, deeper or intrinsic stains caused by certain medications or trauma may not respond to such agents and may require professional teeth whitening treatments. Moreover, as mentioned above, in various cases, the natural colour of the teeth is not white.
Dr. Aashnaa Pillai, BDS, FILD, confirms this and says, “Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive agents that are meant to scratch the external surface of your teeth to give them a shinier and whiter appearance. Prolonged use of such abrasive agents can eventually cause thinning of the enamel, the hardest part of your tooth that does not grow back. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and the risk of developing dental caries.”
What at-home preventative measures can be taken for tooth stains?
Always remember that only external stains can be avoided, whereas internal stains affect the internal structure of the teeth and are, therefore, challenging to prevent. Since lifestyle choices are the main cause of external stains, therefore, tooth discoloration can always be avoided by eating a high-fibre diet, drinking lots of water, and brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Avoiding smoking, consuming acidic juices and beverages, and limiting the consumption of foods and beverages that can stain teeth, such as cola, coffee, and red wine, are additional preventive measures. Remember, trying out unproven remedies, such as cleaning teeth with lemon and baking soda can do more damage than good.
THIP Media has also fact-checked a similar claim such as toothpaste and kitchen ingredients can whiten teeth.
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