Fact vs. fad: activated charcoal

102311430_sIt seems like common sense that putting something messy and black on your teeth would only serve to make them the opposite of white. So what gives with all the recent chatter about activated charcoal and whiter teeth?

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, “There is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth.” Dr. Kimberly explains it this way, “Bleaching your teeth is all about changing the inherent color of the teeth. If you’re using a product that’s rough on the enamel –– like activated charcoal –– you can wear the enamel away causing your teeth to be actually more porous, sensitive, and look more yellow. And once the enamel is damaged, it’s permanent.”

So in short, stick with an ADA-approved bleaching system from your dentist’s office … and save the charcoal for the barbecue.