When I was much younger, I pride myself on being one of those with straight teeth and gorgeous pearly whites. Many times, I've had people asked me if I ever wore braces and, I must say, it feels good to say, "nope. Never!" and then flash them a great big smile.
Cut to many years, and the introduction to coffee, later, I have to say that those pearly whites are -sadly- no longer pristine. While caffeine makes me alert and, in the morning, preps my body to face the world, it has also stained my teeth. I still swear by a good cup (or two) of coffee every morning, though.
Anyway, I've tried almost everything to get my teeth back to its glory days but the solution has not come to me as yet. Believe me, I've tried all those whitening toothpastes, some mouth wash, and also those bamboo charcoal toothbrush - you know those with soft black bristles. According to my research (mostly online, of course), manufacturers of these toothbrushes claim that the blending of charcoal into nylon bristles can reduce halitosis, reduce plaque and also kill bacteria that may develop in the bristles during storage, thus reducing the bacterial contamination of toothbrushes (cited from British Dental Journal).
So, then recently, I was scrolling through Instagram and I stopped at a video ad of a teeth whitening brand from Australia called Carbon Coco. The video was interesting. These "actors" were brushing their teeth with something that looked gooey and black in colour. I was intrigued.
I explored the page and found out that they're hawking this powder form "toothpaste" that's made from charcoal - or rather, activated charcoal powder. According to the site, there are many benefits to using activated charcoal powder as tooth polish.
After reading a bit more and doing my research on the brand, I decided to take the plunge and ordered the package. It took about three weeks to arrive from Australia (not sure why it took THAT long, though) and here's what it came with.
Test Drive Time
So, I started using the Carbon Coco formula at night. A quick check with the customer service personnel over the site's Live Chat revealed that I should brush my teeth with it at night, and then complete the process with my own normal toothpaste.
At first, it was rather shocking to me - How can something that's making my teeth black provide a result that will make them look white again? But I continued on, brushing the now black paste onto my teeth for about 5 minutes as instructed. I made sure to stay away from my white sink and other bathroom items that can get stained.
Please note that the charcoal powder can be wiped off if any marks or stains land on your sink or mirror etc.
Once I've spit it out and rinse/wash my mouth, I noticed that my teeth is slightly whiter but there's a blue tinge to it. Perhaps, it's just one of those after-effect, and so i ignored it and proceeded to brush my teeth with my normal toothpaste. I followed through for about a week (still doing it on a nightly basis now) and have seen an improvement!
Of course, I supplemented this with the the Oil Pulling formula that they gave - I do this in the morning as instructed.
So, ok. I know some of you are wondering what is oil pulling?
Oil Pulling is an age-old method of keeping up oral hygiene. Before toothpastes were invented, coconut oil was used as a detoxification ritual that basically pulls out the toxins from your mouth and body. This keeps oral problems such as halitosis at bay.
I've read quite extensively about oil pulling and the benefits are immense. You can also use extra virgin olive oil if it's something you prefer.
While I'm still using the Carbon Coco formula nightly, I'm stopping after 14-days of use. I believe in doing things in moderation. Two weeks is a pretty good duration to ensure that your teeth gets back to its pearly white state (well, as white as possible that is). I've decided to go through with this process once every three months. I do think the formula is great but I'm afraid that it will eat into the enamel of my teeth is used for long periods of time.
Dental surgeons have been quoted as saying that surface abrasive materials can abrade the enamel, especially if done often (more than once every 3–6 months). That is why dentists recommend toothpaste with an RDA (abrasivity coefficient) less than 100, and preferably less than 50. If you wear away your enamel, it is impossible to replace it.
So far, I'm pretty happy with the results and would recommend the use to others. However, precautions must always be taken when trying out something new and I always believe in erring on the side of caution.
For more information, visit Carbon Coco