Charcoal toothpaste has made headlines over the past year for its supposed teeth whitening and breath freshening abilities but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Many dentists have issued warnings about charcoal teeth whitening dangers and you may want to think twice before brushing teeth with charcoal.
What Kind Of Charcoal is In Toothpaste?
Activated charcoal, which is naturally porous, is often used in emergency rooms to treat poisoning and overdoses as it can absorb the toxins. While some people believe that the same logic means charcoal toothpaste can effectively clean teeth by attracting the particles that make the tooth appear darker. But, there are dangers associated with brushing teeth with charcoal.
What Are the Dangers of Charcoal Teeth Whitening?
First, there haven’t been any long-term studies about the effects of using charcoal toothpaste yet and the American Dental Association has not approved any charcoal teeth whitening products. If you choose to try brushing teeth with charcoal, you’re doing so at your own risk.
Oddly enough, brushing teeth with charcoal can actually have a negative affect on the appearance of teeth if used too frequently or too rough. Charcoal is an abrasive substance and can actually cause teeth to look more yellow over time instead of whitening them. This is because it can be wearing down the enamel and exposing the dentin, which has a natural yellow color. The tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth, cannot be replaced so you want to be cautious of using anything rough and grainy on your teeth.
Furthermore, people with receding gums should be especially wary of using charcoal toothpaste as the exposed root of the tooth may be extra sensitive.
Finally, since charcoal is known to absorb medicines, people who use charcoal toothpaste and take medications have to be especially cautious about rinsing and not swallowing the toothpaste in order to avoid the risk of having it interfere with their health.
Traditional Teeth Whitening Versus Charcoal Toothpaste?
As always, brushing your teeth and flossing regularly are a great start to a brighter smile. Your dentist can recommend further teeth whitening treatments if you are looking for a more dramatic result.
While using activated charcoal for teeth whitening dates back to Ancient Rome, humans and health care have come a long way in the last couple of millenniums. Teeth whitening toothpastes and in-office whitening procedures offer more effective and safer results than brushing teeth with charcoal. Stick with a tried and true teeth whitening option and skip the charcoal toothpaste fad to protect your pearly whites from potential damage.
If you still have questions, please contact our dentist office today.