Written on Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020
Charcoal Toothpaste: Is it safe for your teeth?
Charcoal toothpaste has recently become one of the hottest oral health products on the market. You can find this black colored toothpaste in your neighborhood drug store, grocery stores, and through online retailers. But many people wonder, “Is it safe for your teeth?” While it is trendy to use this product, we take a closer look at its efficacy, below.
What is charcoal toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste contains activated charcoal, a fine powder made from extreme heat-oxidized coconut shells, wood and other organic substances. Medical doctors use this highly absorbent material for other medical purposes besides toothpaste, too. But many people believe it can whiten and brighten your teeth.
Charcoal toothpaste can remove surface stains from your smile, just as regular toothpaste does. It is an abrasive material that polishes away and absorbs these stains. That is, with some limitations. There is no evidence that proves charcoal toothpaste removes stains beneath your tooth enamel or whitens teeth.
Is it safe for your teeth?
There is not enough evidence to support whether charcoal toothpaste is or is not safe for your teeth over the long term. More research must focus on this question to provide a definite answer. But many dentists advise patients to exercise caution when choosing to brush their teeth with charcoal toothpaste.
Some facts about charcoal toothpaste and whether it is safe for your teeth include:
- It is too abrasive to use every day
- Using it every day can erode your tooth enamel and expose dentin, making your teeth look more yellow
- Using it every day can make your teeth more sensitive
- Most charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride
- Some studies show people using these toothpastes suffer higher rates of tooth decay
- Some of these black toothpastes stain teeth by accumulating in cracks and crevices
- These toothpastes may darken or damage veneers, crowns, bridges and white fillings
Talk to your dentist to learn more about whether this toothpaste is safe for your teeth. Ask about specific brands to use, if your dentist believes black toothpaste could benefit your oral health and whiten your smile. Of course, your dentist has multiple options for whitening your teeth and improving your smile that are both safe and scientifically proven.
Pros and Cons of Using Black Toothpaste
The benefits of using charcoal toothpaste are limited from a scientifically proven standpoint. But these benefits may include:
- Charcoal may help remove some surface stains from your teeth
- It may help you fight bad breath
- Used from time to time after a professional dental cleaning, this toothpaste may help prevent staining
There are more drawbacks to using this type of toothpaste when compared to benefits. These drawbacks include:
- It can erode tooth enamel and make your teeth look more yellow
- It does nothing to remove stains beneath your enamel
- Using it too often can lead to tooth sensitivity
- Most types do not contain fluoride, an essential element in preventing cavities
- Older teeth are particularly vulnerable to staining by charcoal
- Using this toothpaste can stain your teeth and dental restorations
- There is no hard scientific proof that charcoal paste benefits your smile
Effective Options for Whitening Your Teeth
Your dentist has many proven options for whitening your teeth. These options include both in-office treatments and at-home products they can recommend or provide through the dental office. Your dentist never recommends products or services not endorsed by the American Dental Association. That means you do not have to worry about whether the treatments work or if they are safe for your teeth.
Some of these proven options for whitening your teeth include:
- In-office whitening procedures
- Whitening kits for at-home use
- Whitening toothpaste
If you decide to buy over-the-counter products for whitening your teeth, talk to your dentist first. Also ensure the products you choose to show the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. You can also check out this study published by the National Library of Medicine for some more insight.
Talk to Your Dentist about Improving Your Smile
Schedule your next visit with your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts in Goldsboro or Raleigh, North Carolina today. When you attend your appointment, ask your dentist about recommended teeth whitening options, charcoal toothpaste and how to improve your smile.