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Does Activated Charcoal Toothpaste really work?

Charcoal toothpaste

Activated charcoal is a popular ingredient in many skincare scrubs and masks to toothpaste and dietary supplements. Activated charcoal is a charcoal powder that comes from smaller charcoals derived from coconut shells, bone char, coal,oliver pits or sawdust. 

Products with activated charcoal are seen more readily on the shelves of drug stores, cosmetics shops, and natural health stores. Charcoal has some abrasive properties, so it may be a positive addition to facial scrubs or toothpastes. Theoretically, adding an exfoliant like charcoal can scrub away layers of dirt, plaque, food, or grease, which may result in infections.

Due to the fact that charcoal is a relatively new product, there are not many scientific studies associated with the use of activated charcoal. With increased use, medical researchers are just now learning the downside and harmful effects of the usage of charcoal.

The fine grains in charcoal can remove superficial stains and slightly whiten teeth, however the constant use of charcoal can cause problems due to its abrasive nature. 

Modern scientific research into the health properties of activated charcoal is very new, so most research is inconclusive. Charcoal has been used for several medical reasons throughout human history, but these reports are just now being studied more thoroughly.

Several toothpastes that state that their main ingredient is activated charcoal is misleading. Those toothpastes contained higher quantities of clay which is a potentially harmful product. When shopping  for toothpaste, it is best to read the ingredients printed on the label and look for specific products such as fluoride which is beneficial to your oral health.

While charcoal toothpaste claims to “whiten” teeth,” the potential risks may not be worth it. After brushing the charcoal toothpaste, the fine grains located in the toothpaste and get into fillings or small cracks located in your teeth and make exiting decay even worse. The fine grains can also get stuck in the gums and cause sensitivity, irritation or even make small cuts in  your gums which can allow germs to enter and cause infection. The usage of charcoal toothpaste can make tooth decay and overall oral health much worse in the long term. Charcoal toothpaste can cause more wear and tear in people whose teeth have thin enamel, which results in the increased risk of cavities.

Also, charcoal will also not remove all staging. Staining from soy sauce and coffee is not removed with the usage of charcoal toothpaste. 

If you are interested in whitening your teeth charcoal can help in the short term but it is not the best option. Most people have stained or off-white teeth because they drink lots of coffee, tea, or soda; beverages with high levels of acid like sparkling water, juice, or alcohol; or eat lots of foods containing soy sauce or higher levels of sugar or acid.

Dietary changes, along with additions to your oral healthcare routine after eating and drinking, can improve the brightness of your smile for longer than just using activated charcoal toothpaste. Be sure to read the ingredients of activated charcoal toothpastes, and purchase from a reputable company.

Consult your dentist before using charcoal toothpaste in order to asses the risks and benefits associated with its usage. This consultation will help you understand your personal oral health better overall, so you can make good product decisions when buying toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and toothbrushes. The information can also help you decide whether you should use whitening strips, invisalign aligners or other products that have a greater impact on your smile.

Give us a call at 718-751-0101 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shine in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, to go over whitening options or any other dental inquiries that you may have. You can also click here to may an appointment.

Evelyn Shine Dentist

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