Is Charcoal Toothpaste Effective for Cleaning Teeth?
When it comes to buying toothpaste, you have about a zillion options. Fluoride or no fluoride; with baking soda or without; whitening, sensitive or regular - these are just a few choices you can make, and that does not even take into consideration the flavors you can choose from. But, should you be choosing a toothpaste that contains charcoal? Charcoal toothpaste is a trend that is increasing in popularity, but before you reach for that tube, read this to find out if it is right for you.
Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work?
Although some individuals claim that brushing with charcoal toothpaste works to remove stains and bacteria and even whiten teeth without bleaching, there has not been extensive research into the benefits, effectiveness and safety of charcoal toothpaste.
Beyond questions about its effectiveness, medical professionals warn that consuming charcoal can be dangerous. In addition to the risk of serious overdose, charcoal toothpaste can also:
Damage tooth enamel and gum tissue. Charcoal can damage your teeth and gums because of its rough, abrasive qualities.
Affect medications. Charcoal has absorbing qualities, which means it can bind itself to medications and supplements, which can negatively affect your health.
Disrupt digestion. Charcoal can cause constipation and intestinal blockages over time as a result of prolonged use of charcoal. Charcoal also causes black stools and changes in color to the tongue.
Leave teeth at risk of tooth decay. Since charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride, it does not help to remineralize the teeth and fight tooth decay. As a result, some individuals who brush with charcoal follow up with regular fluoride-containing toothpaste. But doubling up on brushing can damage tooth enamel.
Darken smiles. Due to the dark and gritty nature of charcoal, users have to rinse it away.
Although using charcoal to brush teeth is trendy, it may not be smart. Instead of charcoal toothpaste, Dr. Warren and Dr. Hagerman recommend that you select a regular fluoride toothpaste with an American Dental Association seal of approval and brush at least twice per day.
If you have questions about charcoal toothpaste, tooth whitening or oral health in general, call us today at 623-748-5162 for more information.