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Charcoal Toothpaste: Friend or Foe?

Illustration of a toothbrush brushing teeth with charcoal toothpaste

Have you seen ads touting the whitening and health benefits of charcoal toothpaste? This toothpaste has a distinct black color. You’re probably curious as to what is charcoal toothpaste and whether it is good for your teeth or if you should pass on it.

What Is Charcoal Toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste uses activated charcoal, which is charcoal that becomes “activated” through exposure to extremely high heat. This process opens the charcoal’s pores so it can absorb chemicals. Activated charcoal’s absorption powers make it a common treatment for certain kinds of poisoning. It binds to toxins and prevents the body from absorbing poison. Companies that produce activated charcoal toothpaste claim the product has whitening benefits.

Does Charcoal Toothpaste Whiten Your Teeth?

Charcoal toothpaste is abrasive, which allows it to remove some surface stains. Unfortunately, this abrasiveness can also wear down your enamel if used frequently. Weakened enamel exposes your tooth’s yellow dentin layer and makes you more likely to experience sensitivity and cavities. Charcoal toothpaste’s dark color can also give your teeth a gray discoloration. So far, there isn’t evidence that shows charcoal toothpaste whitens teeth better than regular whitening toothpaste. It certainly does not remove intrinsic, or deep stains. These must be removed with professional teeth whitening.

Does Charcoal Toothpaste Fight Cavities & Bad Breath?

Charcoal toothpaste can help remove plaque from your teeth, but many brands of activated charcoal toothpaste do not contain fluoride. This is a big problem as fluoride is extremely beneficial in preventing tooth decay. This is another reason to avoid charcoal toothpaste or use it rarely. Additionally, while charcoal toothpaste may absorb some bacteria that cause bad breath, if you have an underlying condition causing your bad breath (like cavities or gum disease), charcoal toothpaste won’t cure it.

Whiten Your Smile at CarolinasDentist in North Carolina!

If you want to safely whiten your teeth and achieve dramatic results, consider professional teeth whitening at CarolinasDentist. Regular cleanings also remove stains while preventing tooth decay. If you have questions about charcoal toothpaste or want to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations, please contact us today!

Charcoal toothpaste image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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