At our clinic at Denture Health Care, we get plenty of questions regarding denture maintenance and care. One of the more common questions we’ve been receiving lately is ‘what is activated charcoal’ and ‘can you use activated charcoal on dentures?’ In today’s blog, we take a look at reasons why activated charcoal is being used in so many kinds of toothpaste and whether it’s a passing fad or a ground-breaking new dental product.
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What is activated charcoal, and can you use activated charcoal on dentures?
Activated charcoal is one of the latest teeth whitening fads and can be found it numerous kinds of toothpaste on the market. It’s made from carbon-rich materials such as coal, coconut shells and olive pits and can act as a binding agent or sponge in its final form. This is why it’s commonly used as a medicine for people who have overdosed on drugs, as it quickly binds to the medicine before it’s absorbed by the body. Activated charcoal is also commonly used to clean out water filtration systems as it absorbs any impurities such as chemicals and toxic waste.
Because of its binding nature, activated charcoal is used in everything from supplements and health drinks, to teeth whitening and skincare. Companies that market these products will state that the activated charcoal will bind itself to any toxins and free them from the body. Though this may technically be true as activated charcoal has a negative charge that makes things a positive charge bind to it, it isn’t always particular when it comes to choosing what it absorbs – which means healthy oils and vitamins may be absorbed too. This is especially dangerous if you take medication as activated charcoal can make it ineffective if consumed too closely.
This line of logic is why companies are starting to use activated charcoal in toothpaste, as it logically stands to reason that it can effectively bind to plaque and remove it from teeth. Activated charcoal can remove plaque from teeth and aid in better breath but it’s highly unlikely it offers any teeth whitening abilities.
Can You Use Activated Charcoal on Dentures: Top reasons to avoid
Though activated charcoal is relatively safe to use, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use it on your dentures (or teeth).
Abrasive: As it’s quite gritty, activated charcoal may be abrasive to tooth enamel and denture resin. This can cause the colour of your teeth and gums to chip, resulting in repairs being needed.
Not good to digest: If you’re on medication, swallowing activated charcoal can make your medicine ineffective. This can be hard to avoid when you’re brushing your teeth, as it’s natural to swallow some toothpaste.
It can cause irritation: The abrasiveness of activated charcoal can be very irritating for the gums and can even cause cuts and sores to your mouth.
How do I keep dentures looking clean?
Though it may be tempting to use activated charcoal or tooth whitening paste on dentures, it’s best to avoid any chemicals that are too course for resin. At Denture Health Care, we recommend the following tips for maintaining your dentures:
Do: Remove and rinse dentures after eating, or teeth staining drinks such as coffee and red wine.
Don’t: Use hot water to clean dentures as the temperature can warp the resin.
Do: Soak dentures overnight, preferably with a dentist-recommended stain remover.
Don’t: Use hard bristle toothbrushes to clean dentures as the bristles can cause abrasions.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our article on ‘Can you use activated charcoal on dentures?’ If you’d like to book an appointment to discuss denture health care with one of our specialises, you can contact us online, call us on 1300 304 092 or email email@example.com and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.