Brushing your teeth with black charcoal sounds like a crazy and distasteful way to treat your mouth. Typically, when you think about charcoal, it might be what you expect from Santa when you’re on the naughty list. And, while we can’t guarantee you won’t find a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking this year, we have heard lots of people rave about charcoal’s teeth whitening properties. As a “natural whitening solution,” charcoal has been added to toothpaste and is popping up in stores and online.
With the hype of the new charcoal trend in toothpaste, patients are wondering if they should toss out their traditional toothpaste and replace it with a different one containing charcoal. Below is an explanation for why we believe that charcoal is not necessarily all that it is cracked up to be.
It may seem charcoal is one of the latest trends, but it has quite an ancient history. The Romans used charcoal and tree bark to brush their teeth, giving charcoal toothpaste and long European history. Charcoal toothpaste manufacturers state that their toothpaste will provide natural and gentle whitening abilities that will remove surface stains and freshen your breath.
Nowadays, it’s being added to toothpaste, promising its users brighter, whiter teeth. Before charcoal is added to toothpaste, it is heated to extremely high temperatures, which will change its structure to a fine, porous powder. When the charcoal goes through this process, it is referred to as being activated and becomes odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.
Charcoal can help track chemicals in toxins reducing the amount your body absorbs. Although charcoal can be an effective treatment for some types of drug overdoses, the research reflecting positive effects on your teeth and gums is nonexistent.
Is charcoal good for your teeth?
The American Dental Association (ADA) has researched charcoal toothpaste and has not found it to be safe or effective in cleaning your teeth. More importantly, the ADA issued a warning when using abrasive materials to try to scrub your teeth clean. When you use a rough scrub like charcoal toothpaste, you can wear away tooth enamel that protects your teeth. With extended use of charcoal toothpaste, it can lead to an increase of yellowing due to the layers of dentin being brought closer to the surface as the enamel wears thin. Most charcoal toothpaste is advertised as “all-natural” and does not include fluoride, a critical component proven to prevent tooth decay and strengthen your tooth enamel, in the ingredient list.
More research is needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of including charcoal in toothpaste. Wall Street Dentistry recommends choosing a toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure you are getting a quality product that will also be effective.
Since charcoal toothpaste is not effective, how can I get whiter teeth?
Until some additional research is conducted backing the claim that charcoal toothpaste is beneficial in your mouth and not just for when you’re on Santa’s naughty list, we suggest staying away from charcoal-infused toothpaste. To begin the whitening process at home, use a toothpaste infused with hydrogen peroxide. If you are still looking for a way to brighten your dingy smile in a more time-efficient manner, contact Wall Street Dentistry today by calling (256) 878-0525 to schedule an appointment. Be sure to ask about our professional teeth whitening treatment that is both safe and effective. You will certainly be happy with a whiter smile in a shorter amount of time. We provide dental care to the areas of Boaz, Guntersville, and Albertville.