Hardly a day goes past when I don't see Charcoal Toothpastes on my social media feed claiming to whiten your teeth. Are charcoal toothpastes safe for you to use? Do they really work? Can you brush your teeth without getting charcoal all over your clothes? Is it all hype or should you go out and get some Charcoal Toothpaste?
Are Charcoal Toothpastes safe for you to use?
A recent article in the British Dental Journal (May 2019) investigated Charcoal Toothpaste and the findings are very interesting.
Generally speaking charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride and so you do not get the protection from the application of fluoride twice daily.
On the rare occasion that you see a charcoal toothpaste that does contain fluoride - the problem with this combination is that charcoal has great absorptive properties and so it absorbs any fluoride that is in the toothpaste so that your teeth do not get the benefit. (Charcoal tablets are used to treat poisoning they are so good at absorbing other chemicals)
There is also another potential health risk regarding the charcoal itself - a few years ago we were all advised to stop burning meat on the BBQ as the charcoal on the meat contained carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. These same chemicals are still contained in the charcoal used to make the toothpaste
Do Charcoal Toothpastes really work?
Charcoal toothpastes do not change the colour of the tooth itself, instead it removes any staining on the teeth and so the tooth will appear whiter. This would be of benefit for anyone with staining due to coffee, red wine, smoking - but care still needs to be taken as the charcoal is abrasive (that is how it is removing the stains), too much abrasion will also damage your enamel.
If you are going to use a charcoal toothpaste only use it occasionally.
Also charcoal toothpastes should not be used it you have any filings of veneers etc on your front teeth as the charcoal gets stuck in the grooves between your filling/veneer and your tooth leaving a line of black on your tooth. Definitely not the look you are going for.
Can you brush your teeth without getting charcoal everywhere?
The definite downside to using a charcoal toothpaste is that it makes more mess than regular toothpaste and leaves your teeth a little blacker in the short term. Your toothbrush is a mess as well as your sink! But the good news is the charcoal toothpaste does not get all over your clothes while you brush as long as you are not a crazy brusher!
Is charcoal toothpaste all hype?
In my opinion charcoal toothpaste is all hype and not worth it. If you want a whiter smile then get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist or hygienist if this is not white enough then get some teeth bleaching done. For me it is a crazy that you can skip!
If you have any further questions regarding charcoal toothpastes or teeth whitening options or any other dental question please give us a call or send us a message, we would love to help.