Charcoal has become popular in the cosmetic and wellness industry and is even used to help in teeth whitening. Toothpaste that helps whiten teeth contains activated charcoal that is a fine powder made from wood and coconut shells and oxidized under extreme heat.
Now the question that may arise from this is, does charcoal toothpaste really whitens teeth and is it safe to do so? We will discuss in detail in this article the pros and cons of using charcoal toothpaste.
Does Charcoal Toothpaste Really Whiten Teeth?
While activated charcoal helps whiten teeth by removing stains on your teeth, it is mildly abrasive and can absorb stains. However, there is not enough study to suggest that charcoal can remove stains below a tooth’s enamel. To achieve whiter teeth, a whitening product must remove stains both on the surface and inside the enamel.
Is it Safe?
Dentists are always reminded to advise their patients to be cautious when using charcoal toothpaste for teeth whitening as there is no evidence to show its effectiveness and safety of use.
It is also a well-known fact that charcoal contains four hydrocarbons that are recognized by the US federal government as carcinogens according to a research by Dr. John Brooks, a clinical professor in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Long-term use can thus be possibly harmful.
Here are some facts about the charcoal toothpaste:
- Charcoal toothpaste can peel down the outer layers of the enamel due to its abrasive qualities. This in turn can weaken your teeth making it exposed to further staining and becoming more sensitive.
- Charcoal toothpaste usually doesn’t contain fluoride that helps to keep the tooth enamel strong against tooth decay and cavities.
- Charcoal particles can be trapped in between cracks and crevices of the teeth.
- It is not known how charcoal affects dental restorations such as the materials used to make crowns, bridges, veneers, and white fillings. Particles of charcoal could build up between them, leaving a black or gray outline.
The Good Side of Using Charcoal Toothpaste
The known benefits of using charcoal toothpaste are:
- It may help remove stains on the teeth and make it whiter.
- It may keep your mouth and teeth smelling fresh.
- It may help remove yellowish staining.
Alternative Options for Teeth Whitening
There are other options that you can consider if you are thinking of teeth whitening. These can include over the counter (OTC) products endorsed by a respected dental association. These products are also recommended by your dentist such as:
- Teeth whitening toothpastes
- Teeth whitening strips
- in-office whitening
- home whitening products
Natural Home Teeth Whitening Solutions
These are considered safe to use although may not be as effective as the regular home teeth whitening products recommended by the dentist. Before using these remedies, be sure to discuss it first with your dentist.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Also, don’t forget to brush your teeth regularly after meals and drinking beverages that cause stain on your teeth such as coffee, sodas, wine, tea, and other stain causing drinks to aid you in achieving that brighter smile.
Before considering using charcoal toothpaste for your teeth whitening alternatives, be sure to consider the pros and cons I have mentioned earlier. Remember, there is not enough study, research, and evidence to suggest that it is really effective in whitening your teeth and that it is very safe to use.
It may be known to help remove surface stains, but its long-term use can be harmful as it is abrasive and contains carcinogens. Don’t be swayed by the hype. Talk to your dentist first.