Why is charcoal so good for teeth whitening?

Why is charcoal so good for teeth whitening?


It is easy to view teeth whitening as a purely vane act. Beauty and appearance has never been so important to society, and a gleaming white smile is the perfect place to start. However many chemical-based solutions are both expensive, temporary, and unnatural. Your teeth begin life white, and this is because they haven't been affected by regular consumption of staining foodstuffs such as wine, tea, coffee, and also smoke. Many of these stains are much more than cosmetic damage, and can actually lead to enamel, bacteria, and decay problems, if left to their own devices.

We all know how important regular and effective teeth cleaning is - it's part of our dna. So when we discuss the merits of activated charcoal as an option, it is important to remember that this is a tooth cleaning product, as well as whitening - the whitening is merely a pleasing bi-product of the cleaning.

A chemical world

So in a world where we are hell-bent on using chemicals, and other nasties to enhance food production/ appearance/ shelf-life, why have we forgotten the most important asset we have access to, and duty to help prosper - mother nature?

Teeth cleaning has a long, natural, and relatively conforming history of solutions. That is until the modern world in which we live in, where we have gone down a different route, of chemical-based toothpaste. 

A teeth cleaning history

You sometimes hear people refer to how the Victorians used to clean their teeth (I'll come to this shortly!), but actually as long ago as 5000 BC, the Egyptians were making a tooth powder that was an interesting mix of powdered ox hoof ashes, myrrh, burnt and powdered eggshells, and pumice.

This kind of method was later improved by the Greeks, and then the Romans, who added powdered charcoal. 

18th century Britain would then experiment with bicarbonate of soda, and glycerine in the 19th century, to try and create a more enjoyable experience, with toothpaste becoming mass-produced, and readily available in 1873, by a company that would eventually become Colgate. With synthetic detergents replacing previous soap components, and later fluoride compounds, this brings us up to the modern day toothpaste. But does this give us the 100% perfect, microscopic clean, or just remove the bulk of the build up of foodstuffs we accumulate throughout the day, and have we forgotten a tried and tested method, in charcoal?

So back to those Victorians we like to discuss, when talking about old teeth cleaning methods. It is known that the more well off Victorian used bicarbonate of soda - something that is still present in many toothpastes even today. For the rest, and indeed bulk of the Victorians, it was good old charcoal, rubbed on to their teeth.

The charcoal was considered the best option, as it concentrated on removing smaller, more stubborn food particles, and therefore gave a great level of protection for the teeth. In fact, examinations of people's teeth from the Victorian times often reveals fewer incidences of tooth decay - though that is also attributable to a lower sugar diet, as well as the benefits of a charcoal teeth clean.

Activated charcoal

So what is the difference between normal charcoal, and activated charcoal? And exactly what does activated charcoal bring to the teeth cleaning party? 

Charcoal is 'activated', by a painstaking procedure of extreme heating, filtering, and mixing with calcium chloride. This acts to create a far higher surface area for the charcoal, and helps create a much finer charcoal, which means it is kind to the tooth's enamel.

Activated charcoal is completely natural, and this is why it is often used in the medical field as an ingested drink, as a way flush out chemicals from poisoning. Activated charcoal works trap toxins and chemicals in the body, to prevent the body reabsorbing them, and causing harm. An interesting additional benefit to ingestion is that it can also reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers!

But back to our teeth! Activated charcoal works to adsorb (not a misspelling, in case you're wondering - adsorption being the ability to hold a solid as a thin film on the outside surface, or on internal surfaces within the material - apologies if I'm being patronising, but for the purposes of clarity!) plaque, and microscopic particles that stain teeth. This means that even after first use, you are binding the harmful toxins, and whitening your teeth.

In addition to the stains and plaque fighting benefits, activated charcoal also promotes general oral health and hygiene, by maintaining a neutral pH balance in the mouth, which helps prevents cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

The BLAXX collection of activated charcoal teeth whitening powder focuses on the natural, and whilst plain activated charcoal is tasteless, we like to offer our customers the most pleasing experience possible, which is why we add a special peppermint leaf powder blend, to leave your mouth feeling even more fresh and clean. 

We are excited to announce the imminent arrival of our new flavours - liquorice, lemon, and even turmeric (bear with us on this one!). We will release a new blog as soon as they come to market, and explain the additional benefits of each!


So in conclusion, some things were best as they were, and certainly when used in conjunction with some advancements, can be a match made in heaven! We will always recommend to keep things natural - keep things BLAXX!

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