A new popular trend, charcoal toothpaste, is marketed to help keep your teeth cleaner, whiter, and even help keep bad breath at bay. But how does charcoal toothpaste work and is it really safe? The answer to this question is not black and white, and, while charcoal toothpaste can have some beneficial properties, it can also cause damage to your teeth.
At Soundview Family Dental, your oral health is our top priority. Here we take a closer look at charcoal toothpaste and whether it will truly provide benefits or is simply just a new trend that can cause more harm than good.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a fine grain powder created from a mixture of wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances that undergo oxidization under extreme heat conditions. This material is highly absorbent and is often used in a variety of medical applications. Its use in dental care, however, is relatively new.
How does it work?
In medical procedures, activated charcoal is used to absorb and remove toxins from the body. You may see it used in facial masks and acne treatments. The idea behind charcoal toothpaste is that when used to brush your teeth, it will help to absorb surface stains on the teeth, resulting in a whiter appearance.
What is charcoal toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste is a toothpaste that contains activated charcoal. The idea is the highly absorbent properties of the charcoal with work to draw out the stains and bacteria on the surface of the teeth when rinsed away.
What does charcoal toothpaste do?
As we mentioned, the idea behind charcoal toothpaste is to help keep your teeth clean and white. The natural absorbing properties of charcoal help to lift surface stains, revealing brighter and whiter teeth. In addition to these whitening properties, it is believed that the abrasiveness of the charcoal will help remove built-up tartar on the surface of the teeth, reducing your risk of dental decay. While the evidence is still inconclusive, the use of charcoal toothpaste can provide benefits when used as directed and as a companion to your regular toothpaste and oral hygiene routine. However, there are some risks you must consider when using charcoal toothpaste.
Does charcoal toothpaste work
While there is some truth behind the use of charcoal toothpaste for tartar removal and the lifting of surface stains, there really is no evidence that it provides any whitening effects beyond the improvement of simple staining. In addition, there are some potential risks to consider when thinking about using charcoal toothpaste.
As this is a new trend in oral health, the results are still questionable. However, the use of charcoal toothpaste as directed has been shown to:
- Help remove surface stains on the teeth
- Improve bad breath
- Help prevent staining when used after a professional cleaning.
Unfortunately, while charcoal toothpaste can offer some positive effects on the teeth, there are more cons to consider. These include:
- Charcoal toothpaste can be very abrasive and can cause damage to the tooth enamel, resulting in a yellower appearance of the teeth than what you started with.
- Breaking down the enamel can increase your risk of dental decay, cavities, and, if left untreated, tooth loss.
- Everyday use can contribute to tooth sensitivity.
- Most brands of charcoal toothpaste do not contain fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities, further increasing your risk.
- Staining is possible with charcoal toothpaste, giving your teeth a gray appearance.
- Effects on restorations, such as veneers, bridges, fillings, and crowns are still unknown, meaning the use of charcoal toothpaste may damage these restorations or cause staining.
- There is no known information on the long-term efficacy and safety of the use of this product.
Other teeth whitening alternatives
If stains on your teeth have you considering charcoal toothpaste, there are other safer, and proven cosmetic dentistry options that can help remove both surface and deeper stains, revealing the smile you want. These options can include:
- Over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments
- Tooth-whitening toothpaste
- In-office whitening treatments by your dentist
Is charcoal toothpaste safe?
While charcoal toothpaste can be safe when used as directed and only occasionally, it can pose a risk to your tooth enamel and overall oral health. At Soundview Family Dental, we take your oral health seriously and want to help ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays white. Regular oral checkups, cleanings, and whitening treatments can help ensure that your teeth stay healthy, and your smile stays bright.