Charcoal toothpaste promotion is everywhere. I hear many of my clients ask “Is charcoal toothpaste safe to use instead of regular toothpaste and does it whiten teeth?”
What is Charcoal Toothpaste?
The main ingredient in charcoal toothpaste is activated charcoal which is made from oxidised substances like wood, coconut shells, bamboo and various other substances. This activated charcoal is really porous and medically works well to absorb and remove toxins.
However if you are using charcoal toothpaste to help whiten your teeth, then it may be doing more damage than good.
If you are interested in whitening, it’s best to have your teeth assessed by dental clinician. We can assess the options that best suit your needs for whitening your teeth and maintaining good oral health.
Usually coffee and tea stains, as well as plaque and calculus build ups are taken off in your routine dental hygiene appointments. If the colour of your teeth still bothers you after our professional clean, we can assess and discuss best options in whitening your teeth. Below are some points to consider before using charcoal toothpaste:
- Is abrasive and it may help to remove surface staining such as tea, coffee, wine etc. It does not change the natural colour of teeth, in fact, it may wear down tooth enamel exposing the dentine layer- making teeth appear more yellow
- It may increase sensitivity if used daily because of its abrasiveness
- Most do not contain fluoride, main ingredient that help harden enamel and fight against dental caries/ cavities
- Can increase staining in and around existing dental work such as fillings, crowns, veneers, and near the gum lines.
- Usually more expensive than normal toothpaste with no evidence of it being better than other regular fluorides toothpastes
- It’s messy to use – the black colour goes everywhere; it takes longer to clean the mess than to brush teeth
- No long-term studies have been done with use of charcoal toothpastes. It may do more damage than good.
To help maintain optimum oral health it is important to maintain good home care by:
- brushing with regular fluoridated toothpaste twice a day
- flossing/ interdental cleaning at least once a day
- eating healthy and balanced food limiting sugary snacks and acidic drinks
- drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- and maintaining routine dental examinations and hygiene appointment (usually every 6 months).
If you are interested in whitening your teeth, ask us at your next dental hygiene/ examination appointment so we can assess your teeth and give you best option available.