I’m often asked by friends how I whiten my teeth, and I’m happy to report now that I use a natural and safe method. I’ve used harsher products in the past, knowing that they provided results but feeling a little guilty putting all those chemicals in my mouth for extended periods of time. I’m really excited to have tried activated charcoal (finally!) and wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about my experience today.
Activated charcoal has definitely been on my radar in the wellness space for a while now, but I had no idea which kind to look for, what to avoid, or how it worked. It’s tough when some hot new wellness product comes onto the scene and suddenly there are 1,000 brands pumping out a similar product and you don’t know where to start. That’s precisely why I avoided the whole matter until I talked with the Australian-based brand, Carbon Coco and learned a little bit about the quality of their tooth whitening products.
What is activated charcoal and how does it work?
Activated charcoal is a black powder that can be made from a number of ingredients (this one is made from coconut shells). It is processed at high temperatures to make it more porous and therefore offer a variety of health benefits including teeth whitening.
By a process called adsorption, the charcoal binds with toxins, stains and plaque in the mouth, allowing you to flush them out. The porosity of activated charcoal gives it a negative electrical charge, which attracts the toxins and chemicals that are positively charged. All you coffee, tea and wine lovers – it jumps on the stains.
I was most concerned about the powder wearing away at the enamel on my teeth, but the Carbon Coco tooth polish is so finely milled that it is not abrasive to the teeth. (Sidenote: I’m a total oral hygiene nerd. I floss every single night, and have never had a cavity. So I definitely did my research on this enamel question beforehand. See my post about Ayurvedic Oral Practices for more nerdiness. )
What’s different about Carbon Coco?
Something that’s cool about Carbon Coco that’s not found in other brands is a hint of bentonite clay and lemon myrtle in their products. Bentonite clay is a natural ingredient that helps remineralize teeth and lemon myrtle has gentle and non-acidic antibacterial properties. It’s nice to get that extra boost of benefits from a couple other natural sources.
I tried the Ultimate Carbon Kit which is made up of a tooth polish and a toothpaste. The tooth polish is the loose, activated charcoal powder and you use that first. You wet your toothbrush, dip it into the powder, and brush in circles for 2-3 minutes. If you’ve seen any photos online of this kind of product in use, you’ll know that it makes your mouth completely black and looks crazy. It rinses right out after, but it’s definitely something to get used to in the mirror. The polish has no taste or smell and works to detoxify the mouth and remove stains. They suggest using it at nighttime so that toxins can continue to dislodge in your mouth overnight.
Then you follow it up with the activated charcoal toothpaste (which is peppermint flavored like normal toothpaste) and brush with that for another 2-3 minutes.
Carbon Coco suggests doing this process for one to two weeks for results. I did it for seven days straight and want to do another seven soon. I have always had pretty white teeth naturally so it’s hard for me to really see shades drastically change, but I do think that some stains were lifted as I’m an avid cappuccino drinker.
I will say that the process tends to make a little bit of a mess, even if you’re being super careful since it is a loose, black powder. The powder rinses right off of any surface, but I was unable to avoid a little black mess of a sink no matter how I tried. Small price to pay for a natural way to whiten teeth, but worth noting.
I am really happy that I’ve found a safe alternative to some of the harsh and chemcial-laden teeth whitening products out there. I have never felt that it’s a good thing to put those whitening strips in your mouth for 30+ minutes at a time for one to two weeks and there’s stuff out there that says they can damage enamel too.
I saw improvement and want to do another week in the near future to further my experiment with activated charcoal.
Have any of you tried activated charcoal? Did you see results??
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