Cast of NBC sitcom Seinfeld, including Jason Alexander, left, as George Costanza.

Doing The Opposite” of every rational instinct elicited positive results for the Seinfeld character George Costanza in 1994, but life is hardly an NBC sitcom (even though it might seem so of late).

So, when a DIY teeth whitening trend involves the use of a “charcoal-derived black mixture,” perhaps stick to logical advice from dental industry experts instead of taking the opposite approach. interviewed Dr. Susan Maples, a Michigan-based dentist and ortho speaker  (and a recipient of the 2016 Lucy Hobbs Award for exemplary women in dentistry) on the topic this week. The author of “Blabber Mouth!: 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You to Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life,” told that “there isn’t enough evidence available to know whether the supplement is beneficial and that it may be dangerous.”


” ‘I worry about the long-term effects of a video like this,’ Maples said. ‘Teeth are the only part of the ectoderm that does not replenish or heal itself— once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can color your hair, you can pierce your skin, damage your nail, shave an eyebrow— all of that comes back.’

Maples said the difference between using an approved dental tool, whether at home or at the dentist’s office, and a DIY remedy like charcoal lies in their approaches.

For example, approved products seep through the enamel and into the inner layer of the tooth called the dentin, which influences tooth color. Users and dentists don’t know how severe the charcoal supplement may be, so it may leave teeth stained or blotchy. The trendy product may also leave tooth enamel susceptible to deterioration and erosion, which can lead to sensitivity and cavities. “

Dr. Maples noted in the interview that patients can avoid these risks. Learn what she recommends to patients interested in whitening their teeth:


The report noted that The American Dental Association has currently not evaluated or approved any charcoal teeth whitening products.