By GMB Nutritionist, Melissa Fine.
There’s a new and natural teeth-whitening agent in town: activated charcoal...don’t knock it till you try it!
We heart our tea at GMB…but not so much the teeth-stains that come with our daily cuppa! We’re not too keen on giving up our morning caffeine fix though, so we were stoked to get our hands on some activated charcoal!
The newest innovation in teeth whitening, here’s the lowdown on activated charcoal, and the teeth-staining culprits it can help to target.
What is activated charcoal?
Derived from nature, this form of charcoal comes in pure powder or tablet form, retaining its mineral-rich charcoal colour. Used for its cleansing and purifying properties in traditional practises, charcoal also has a history of being used in Western medicine to treat heavy metal toxicity - binding to, and removing certain heavy metals from the body.
How does activated charcoal help to whiten your teeth?
Having highly absorbable properties, activated charcoal works to trap teeth-impurities. Our go-to natural teeth-whitening product, NOIR, is made with coconut-derived charcoal.
Why are my teeth stained?
Plant-derived ‘tannins’ are largely responsible for the yellowing of our teeth. Light yellow to light brown compounds, tannins are inherent to the waxy surfaces of some plants, particularly:
Tea and coffee leaves: the main dietary source of tannins, tea actually stains more than coffee (hence all the tea-stained cups!).
Berries: Acai fans, if your teeth turn purple after your smoothie bowl, that’s the tannins talking, with darker berries being especially high in the stuff.
Wine: Red, and sorry peeps, white wine too, can stain your teeth; this is due to the fermentation process, where the grapes absorb the tannins naturally inherent to the oak barrel.
What does activated charcoal taste like?
Thanks to the addition of antibacterial, breath-freshening mint oil, NOIR’s activated charcoal has an underlying menthol aroma, and slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavour…the result is a gag-free teeth-whitening product that also promotes healthy teeth and gums.
How do I use activated teeth whitening charcoal?##
With four simple steps, you’ll be saying hello to pearly whites! DIP: With a clean, slightly damp toothbrush (soft bristles are most ideal), into the activated charcoal powder, but just once – a little goes a long way! BRUSH: Gently and in little circles, for two to four minutes. For no-mess, do this over the sink and keep your lips sealed around the toothbrush! RINSE: both your mouth and toothbrush thoroughly, until there are no remains of activated charcoal. REPEAT! Twice daily for maximum results (a single NOIR pot will provide three months-worth of product!).
Are there any side effects that come with using teeth whitening charcoal?##
No, provided you keep your toothbrush and whitening product to yourself! Sharing any oral hygiene product isn’t ideal, being a recipe for cross contamination…same goes for dipping your fingers (even clean ones!) into your pot of charcoal powder.
Stick to the safe application method of dipping your dry toothbrush into the powder; a slightly damp toothbrush is ideal for dipping, but a very wet toothbrush may add moisture to the tub, upping the chances of undesirable microbial growth.
For your assurance, NOIR meets International Standards and is also approved by the FDA (that’s the Food and Drug Administration in the US).
With activated charcoal powder, you can work your way to whiter teeth, without giving up your tea, coffee or acai – phew!