Charcoal Whitening Vs. Gel Whitening

Teeth whitening has become a very popular trend these days and you have probably done all of your research to find the most effective at-home method. Well, with so many to choose from how do you know which is best for you? Two of the more popular at-home whitening methods are gel whitening kits and the most buzz-worthy discovery, activated charcoal whitening.

Our team here at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry specializes in several cosmetic dentistry services that can not only brighten, but enhance your smile as well. We understand how difficult it can be choosing the most effective at-home whitening method just from reading stories online. That is why we want to help you! Let’s distinguish gel whitening and activated charcoal is all about.

What Causes Teeth Discoloration?

There are several causes to stained or discolored teeth. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it is not smooth and flat. There are actually minuscule ridges that can trap particles of food and drinks. The most common causes of stained teeth are the foods and beverages we eat on a daily basis.

Who can survive a morning without coffee? That is difficult question to answer. Coffee is the number one culprit when it comes to stained teeth. It contains tannin that leads to staining and discoloration. Other stain causing foods and beverages include: 

  • Red wine and tea. Both red wine and tea also contain tannin that causes tooth discoloration.
  • Soft drinks and colored beverages. Staining from soft drinks is mainly caused by the phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid weakens tooth enamel, which is the protective layer of the tooth. Chromogen is what gives colored beverages their color and is what stains teeth.
  • Sweets. Sweet treats like cookies and hard candies that stick to the surface of teeth are the main source for bacteria in your mouth to manifest on. Once the bacteria feeds off of the sugar, it releases acid that causes tooth decay, which will in turn discolor or darken your teeth.
  • Berries. Rich-pigmented berries, such as blueberries, pomegranates, and cherries, are also major culprits to discolored teeth.


If you still want to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks, there are a few tips to help reduce staining. One helpful tip is to rinse your mouth out with water or brush and floss your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. This will help eliminate any particles in your mouth that can be trapped in tooth enamel. It is also important to routinely brush and floss your teeth daily to ensure healthy oral hygiene.

What Is Activated Charcoal Whitening?

We are sure you have seen all of the buzz about charcoal whitening, and you are probably wondering “how does this pitch-black paste whiten teeth?” Activated charcoal is a light black powder that is made of bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust. It is then activated by processing it at extremely high temperatures. This process is what gives the activated charcoal a more porous texture, which is what differentiates it from other types of charcoals.

How Does It Work?

Brushing your teeth with activated charcoal may look strange and even frightening, but it does get the job done. The unique porous texture of the activated charcoal actually helps to remove toxins from the mouth and absorb other stain-causing.  Once the charcoal has been given enough time to bind to your teeth and remove surface stains, it can be easily removed with a few rinses with water.

What is Gel Whitening?

Whitening gel is a safe and effective method to fix stained or discolored teeth. Most whitening gels are made of hydrogen peroxide and other active ingredients that improve the performance and taste of the gel. The whitening gel gently and safely bleaches the teeth, without any damage.

How Does It Work?

In order to use the whitening gel, you must have a mouth tray to properly insert and utilize the gel effectively. With store-bought whitening gel kits, the only disadvantage is not having a mouth tray that properly fits your mouth. It is important to use a tray that fits your mouth perfectly to ensure that every tooth surface is being exposed evenly to the whitening gel. A secure mouth tray also prevents burning or irritating your gums from an excess amount of gel material.

Get Your At-Home Whitening Kit From Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry!

Our cosmetic dentistry services at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry are the perfect solution to better your smile. We provide our patients with the option of in-office whitening treatments or at-home bleaching kits. Our in-office whitening treatment only requires one office visit. Our specialists will apply a protective layer over your gums to protect them from the whitening gel. This process is a non-invasive treatment used to alter the color of your tooth enamel.

Our at-home bleaching kits are customized for you! Impressions will be taken in our office to help our specialists create a custom mouth tray that fits your mouth perfectly. You will then be given specific instructions that will inform you on how to properly use the kit – in the comfort of your own home!

If you are looking to whiten your smile with the help of Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry, call (212) 581-1091.