The Truth About Charcoal Toothpaste
While you may associate charcoal with your backyard barbecue, charcoal toothpaste has recently become a trending topic - you’ve probably seen adverts for this black-coloured toothpaste on your social media feeds promising miraculous whitening results.
But is there any truth to the claims that charcoal toothpaste can remove stains on teeth? And, more importantly, is it actually safe to use charcoal toothpaste on your teeth and gums? In this article, we’re exploring the trend of charcoal toothpaste and shedding light on whether this dark substance lives up to the hype.
What’s the deal with charcoal?
Firstly, let’s look at why people are hailing charcoal as a miracle cleansing agent. In the case of charcoal toothpaste, the main ingredient is activated charcoal, which is made from oxidised substances like wood, coconut shells, bamboo and various other substances.
This activated form of charcoal is extremely porous and is known to have medical benefits in the absorption and removal of toxins from the body. However, this doesn’t mean that charcoal toothpaste is effective or recommended for whitening your teeth - in fact, it may cause more harm than good.
The downsides of charcoal toothpaste
The truth is, the use of charcoal toothpaste has no scientifically proven benefits when it comes to whitening teeth - and in some cases, it can cause unwanted side effects.
Charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive
The abrasive nature of charcoal toothpaste can cause lasting damage to your teeth by wearing down the protective layer of enamel. While the abrasiveness of charcoal may mean it will reduce some surface stains in the short term, the exposed dentin below your enamel can actually cause teeth to appear more yellow in colour.
Charcoal toothpaste may increase sensitivity
Another undesirable side effect of the abrasive nature of charcoal is that the use of this type of toothpaste can cause your teeth to become more sensitive. This means you may develop sensitive teeth or find your existing sensitivity gets worse.
Most charcoal toothpaste products don’t contain fluoride
As fluoride is an important ingredient in helping to strengthen tooth enamel and fight against cavities and tooth decay, the lack of this ingredient in charcoal toothpaste means it isn’t effective in protecting your teeth.
Charcoal can increase stains around existing dental work
If you have fillings, crowns or veneers, the areas in and around these elements may become more stained with the use of charcoal toothpaste, as the charcoal can get stuck in these areas. This staining can also occur on or near your gum line.
Charcoal toothpaste can be costly
Aside from harmful side effects, it’s also worth considering that charcoal toothpaste is generally more expensive than regular toothpaste, despite there being no evidence that it’s more effective at keeping your teeth clean, healthy or white.
How can I whiten my teeth safely?
If you’re concerned about discoloured or stained teeth - which can occur due to the consumption of beverages such as tea, coffee or red wine, as well as activities like smoking or taking certain medications - the good news is that professional teeth whitening is safe, effective and affordable.
At National Dental Care Group, we offer two types of teeth whitening. Choose to have your teeth whitened in the comfort of one of our state-of-the-art practices - which takes as little as 90 minutes and leaves you with a beautiful white smile - or opt for a convenient take-home teeth whitening kit that allows you to whiten your teeth safely from home, using customised trays with a special whitening gel.
When it comes to whitening, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Talk to your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice about the teeth whitening treatments available and ask your dentist for advice on achieving a dazzling white smile. You can make an appointment online now.