Why black isn’t the new white…

Over the past ten years of working in dentistry, I’ve come across a few strange myths and old wives’ tales about how to get whiter teeth. Although none have been as absurd as the one I heard recently.


Correct, the black chalky material that you usually use on a BBQ. It seems that activated charcoal in capsule or powdered form is the latest product to layer onto teeth for those looking to achieve pearly whites.

After a quick Google search, I came across quite a few articles on the matter from people who have tried it, claiming it to work. So much so, a patient even asked me about its effectiveness a few weeks ago.

Whilst charcoal is often used in some circumstances to remove toxins from the body, from a teeth point of view, it has never been a material used in my dental toolbox! Neither have I seen any credible dental studies exploring the long-term impact it can have on teeth – positively or negatively.

For this reason, my advice to anyone looking for whiter teeth remains the same – visit your dentist first.

Only dental professionals should be carrying out teeth whitening – they’ll be able to tell you exactly which type of teeth whitening method is best for you and how it should be used safely and effectively.

So for peace of mind, save the charcoal for the BBQ and leave it to dentists to look after your whitening goals!