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Charcoal Toothpaste

Using Charcoal Toothpaste to Whiten Teeth  

Have you ever considered using charcoal toothpaste? If you haven’t, it won’t be too long before someone tells you about it or the marketing hype eventually gets you using it too. Over the last decade or so it has become increasingly popular, but
there are now concerns people are using the product because they have fallen for the marketing gimmick of the product whitening teeth or that it has some magical detoxifying effect.

Charcoal is made from burning natural materials such as coconut husks, peat, nutshells, wood and possibly even coal. Charcoal toothpaste manufacturers claim it whitens your teeth by removing stains, and even toxins from your body. However, there are no scientific evidence that it whitens teeth or have any other benefit.  So, when weighing up the pros and cons of using it, it’s unlikely there are any benefits at all.  In fact, it may be doing more harm than good.

There are many reasons why you should NOT use Charcoal Toothpaste, and even if we accept and assume there are some benefits, the detrimental effects on your teeth and gums far outweigh the potential benefits claimed.

What are the negative effects of using Charcoal Toothpaste? One of them is that a large number of Charcoal Toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride which is important in protecting teeth.  According to the British Dental Journal some may even contain carcinogenic substances. This is not surprising as the manufacturing process involves burning of materials to make the charcoal used in charcoal toothpaste.

Charcoal toothpaste’s process of teeth whitening involves a mechanical process in the form of abrasion which wear off the stains, rather than changing the shade.  This is very different to whitening conducted in a dental clinic where a well-controlled chemical process is used instead.  Although the abrasive process is considered to be mild in the short term, the consistent long-term use potentially damages the enamel permanently.  This can increase sensitivity and the risk of decay.  In addition, the abrasive process can potentially damage your gums by wearing it down creating gaps between individual tooth, and promoting the build-up of disease causing bacteria in the gaps.

People with established periodontal disease may accumulate charcoal particles deep in the periodontal defects causing discoloration of the periodontal tissue.  Any white filling present may also accumulate charcoal particles in the fissures, which decreases the aesthetics of the white filling. If this occurs in the smile zone, the impact will be visually undesirable.

The conclusion is that charcoal toothpaste have been a product that has undergone a “marketing hype” created by the use of marketing terms such as herbal, natural, organic, detox, etc to entice the consumer.  Yet the health benefit claims remain scientifically unproven. 
The abrasive process in itself used to whiten teeth should be enough to warrant against the use of charcoal toothpaste.  Therefore, it’s not surprising that the ADA recommends against the use of charcoal powder and charcoal toothpaste to clean or whiten teeth.

If you want to talk about any concerns regarding any potential problems Charcoal Toothpaste may have caused, please visit our website Lydiard St Dental Clinic to contact us via phone or make your own appointment with our online booking system.  Alternatively, you can leave a message on our Online Contact Form and we'll call you back as soon as we can.

Our friendly Ballarat dentist team is always happy to help you. :)

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