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Activated Charcoal Toothpaste: The Truth About Charcoal Teeth Whitening

Some people consider charcoal toothpaste to be a safe and reasonably priced product to whiten teeth. Flo looks closer at these claims and outlines the potential advantages and risks of using charcoal to whiten your teeth.

Activated charcoal can be found in toothpaste and beauty products. It is a fine powder made from coconut shells, wood, or other natural ingredients that have been oxidized under extremely hot temperatures. Due to its porous nature, health care providers sometimes use activated charcoal to treat cases of overdose and poisoning. The charcoal absorbs the poison and prevents the stomach from absorbing it. Many people use activated charcoal for their teeth, believing that it can soak up the toxins in their bodies or stains from their teeth.

Activated charcoal may help remove some surface stains on the teeth. However, it cannot remove deeper stains. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, there’s no evidence that dental products with charcoal are effective or safe for your teeth. Moreover, charcoal is abrasive, and using it on your teeth can make them look more yellow.

Teeth-whitening charcoal may be able to whiten the enamel. However, a product that is abrasive or too rough may harm the enamel. When this happens, the soft, yellow layer under the enamel — dentin — may be exposed.

Because there are no data to prove the efficacy and safety of activated charcoal toothpaste, products that contain activated charcoal do not have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. Toothpaste with this seal is effective, safe, and won’t damage your teeth.

Although there’s no scientific evidence to prove the efficacy and safety of charcoal toothpaste, there are possible benefits of using it.

  • Activated charcoal toothpaste may help remove surface stains such as discoloration from substances such as berries, wine, and coffee. Remember that this benefit of activated charcoal isn’t similar to whitening your teeth.
  • Charcoal toothpaste may help remove acidic plaque from your teeth. Charcoal may be able to bind to acidic elements on your teeth and remove them from your body more quickly. Charcoal can increase the pH of your mouth and reduce the accumulation of acidic plaque. It may also freshen your breath.
  • Charcoal toothpaste may help you maintain good oral and dental health by maintaining the balance of your oral immune system.

Charcoal toothpaste can remove external stains, but misusing it may do more harm than good.

  • Charcoal toothpaste can erode your tooth enamel. If your toothpaste is too abrasive, it can wear away your tooth enamel and lead to permanent damage over time. The ADA recommends toothpaste with a relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) level of less than 250. When choosing a charcoal toothpaste, check its RDA level. If you are unable to find it, don’t use that toothpaste.
  • Because of the abrasive texture of charcoal toothpaste, you shouldn’t use it every day. Using charcoal toothpaste daily may erode your enamel and expose the underlying dentin. Exposing the dentin layer can increase tooth sensitivity and make them look yellow.
  • Fluoride, an ingredient that helps maintain the strength of your enamel and protects it against decay and cavities, isn’t in most charcoal toothpaste.
  • Particles from charcoal toothpaste can collect in the crevices and cracks of older teeth, making them look stained.
  • We don’t yet know the long-term effect of charcoal on materials used to make dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers. Charcoal particles may collect between them and cause gray or black discoloration.
  • Charcoal toothpaste can’t remove stains under the tooth enamel.
  • There’s no evidence to prove the long-term safety and effects of charcoal toothpaste.

There’s a lot of hype about activated charcoal toothpaste as a safe and reasonably priced option to whiten teeth. Activated charcoal may help remove some surface stains, but it can’t remove stains under the enamel. Furthermore, because of its abrasive texture, using it regularly may erode the enamel and expose the underlying dentin. This can increase the sensitivity of your teeth and make them look yellow. There are no scientific data to prove the long-term efficacy and safety of activated charcoal toothpaste, and such toothpaste doesn’t have the ADA seal of acceptance.

1. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/natural-teeth-whitening

2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002817717304129

3. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/charcoal-toothpaste#does-it-work

4. https://www.health.com/condition/oral-health/best-teeth-whitening-pen

5. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes

6. https://www.healthline.com/health/activated-charcoal-teeth-whitening

7. https://askthedentist.com/charcoal-toothpaste/

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