Yes. It is even safe to swallow small amounts of activated carbon. In fact, it is used to treat cases of poisoning since it is good to absorb toxins before they enter the bloodstream.
Active charcoal is also on the list of essential medicines of the World Health Organization, specifically in the section on ‘Antidotes and other substances used in poisoning’. So there should be no doubt about your safety.
Activated carbon for teeth whitening is also used in a large number of everyday products and processes such as water filters and decaffeination of coffee. You probably use it every day and even if you’ve noticed.
Activated carbon for teeth: Contraindications
When it comes to using it to whiten teeth, some doubts have been raised about its abrasive nature and other damages that can cause, such as tooth sensitivity or inflammation of the gums. Coal is effective in removing surface stains from the tooth, but it also poses a risk by eroding the enamel.
As the enamel layer (which is translucent) becomes finer and finer, the inner layer of the tooth or dentin (which is yellowish) begins to be seen through it. So, ironically, a dental bleach that includes an abrasive method can cause the opposite effect to the long-term desired: make your teeth look more yellow.
Dentists warn about the excessive use of whitening toothpastes for the same reason. But while traditional whitening pastes need brushing to be effective, activated charcoal can only “stick” to the stains to remove them from the surface of the tooth without brushing.
If you take into account the cost-benefit ratio that you can obtain with the use of this product, it may be worth trying. In the worst case you will only lose a few dollars, a little time, and if you are not careful, you will stain the bathroom a bit.
If you are worried about the damage that the carbon for teeth can cause to your enamel, what you could do is apply the paste to your teeth and let it act for a few minutes without scrubbing it. Then rinse, and brush as usual with your usual toothpaste. Alternatively, you can choose to use an active charcoal paste for your teeth only a few times a week.
If you notice that your gums become irritated, switch to your normal toothpaste for a while until they have recovered. Then, you can resume brushing with carbon for teeth, although it may be better to do it less often.
Fluoride is usually not added to toothpastes with charcoal. Some people consider it a benefit because they want to avoid additive substances. But in fact, fluoride is added to most commercial toothpastes because it is effective in strengthening teeth and fighting tooth decay. This is another good reason to alternate the carbon toothpaste with your usual toothpaste.
Also, you should not brush with charcoal if you have open wounds or sores. If you have any questions, talk to your dentist to have a medical opinion. Also check with your professional before using activated carbon if you have implants, veneers or dental crowns. The material used in these may be less resistant to staining with carbon.
It is not safe to inhale the dark dust that creates this substance, so be careful when handling it at home.