Charcoal toothpaste has emerged over the past few years in the dental market. It has gained a lot of popularity for various reasons, but mainly as a natural product that can whiten your teeth. In today’s world, it seems that you always need to be camera-ready for a quick photo for Instagram or other social media platforms. Having a white and bright smile is just as important – if not more so – than having clean clothes and a great attitude.
People have been searching left and right for ways to whiten their teeth. Some research claims that using charcoal toothpaste is one of the ways to do so. So is there any truth to that statement? Do these products whiten your teeth, and if so, how should you use charcoal toothpaste?
How Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work?
Every type of toothpaste has an active ingredient; some even have more than one. This type of toothpaste – as the name suggests – has activated charcoal as its active ingredient. You might recognize charcoal as the black cubes you see in barbeques before the steaks go on the grill. The charcoal in the toothpaste is quite similar, only in its activated form.
Activated charcoal is made by treating regular charcoal to become more porous, absorbing gases, stains, germs, and anything that gets into its path. The whole idea of charcoal toothpaste is its ability to absorb all sorts of particles into its system.
How to Use Charcoal Toothpaste
You can use it the same way you use any other type of toothpaste. All you have to do is place a small amount on your toothbrush – about the size of a pea – and rub it onto your teeth in a careful, sweeping motion, careful not to injure your gums, lips, or cheeks.
As you can probably imagine, charcoal toothpaste is black. So you should get a separate toothbrush for this paste and another for regular toothpaste.
Does This Kind of Charcoal Toothpaste Work?
As we explained, the activated charcoal in toothpaste has a lot of porous areas capable of absorbing all sorts of particles. This led to many theories, including that it will:
- Whiten the teeth.
- Detoxify the gums and mouth.
- Kill bacteria and germs responsible for all sorts of diseases in the mouth.
- Prevent the formation of more stains.
However, there is no scientific data that any of these are true. Yes, the chemistry suggests it, but in real life, more research is necessary before saying with certainty that charcoal toothpaste does what it claims to do. It can remove the surface stains, returning your teeth to the original colour they once were before all the staining from coffee and tobacco, but actual whitening? That is debatable.
Can I Leave Charcoal Toothpaste on My Teeth?
While you may think that leaving the toothpaste on your teeth for a prolonged period can be beneficial and yield faster results, that is not true. Charcoal toothpaste is odourless and tasteless, so no harm is done when you leave it on the surface of the teeth.
You can even leave it overnight if you want to. Unfortunately, if you expect faster results this way, you won’t find them. As we explained, there is a limit to what charcoal toothpaste can do. It can remove stains and brighten the teeth, but that is as far as it goes, no matter how long it remains in contact with the teeth.
Another issue with prolonged use is the safety of this type of paste. Improper use can lead to some problems, as we’ll explain in a bit.
How Often Should You Use Charcoal Toothpaste?
Again its use is no different from any other toothpaste. Twice a day for about two weeks should be sufficient for results to show. Using it for a longer period yields no benefits and can be harmful as well.
Is It Safe?
If you are afraid of the black stuff going into your mouth, thinking that it could be poisonous or harmful to your health, then you need not worry. Activated charcoal is very safe, even if you accidentally consume some of it. In fact, the material also has various medicinal purposes, such as relieving bloating and stomach gases, so no worries there.
However, there are other issues to consider, including:
The charcoal particles are pretty thick and course. If you use it with force, that can lead to scratching of the protective enamel layer.
The black color is initially harmless and washes easily off the teeth. With prolonged use and due to the roughness of the particles, small cracks can start to form on the teeth’ surface. These can get stained easily. It can also easily stain restorations such as crowns, veneers, and tooth-colored fillings.
Again due to prolonged use and wear of the enamel, the underlying surface – known as the dentin – becomes exposed and is quite sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
No Fluoride content:
Most brands of charcoal toothpaste don’t have an active chemical ingredient (after all, it is a natural type of toothpaste). You can do well without some of these ingredients, but you cannot do without Fluoride. It is the ingredient responsible for protecting the surface of the teeth and killing most bacteria that cause gum disease. Without Fluoride, toothpaste is useless in fighting diseases of the mouth.
How Else Can You Whiten Your Teeth?
Various other products are available commercially and at your dentist’s office. Whitening toothpaste, strips, and professional in-office whitening can all yield excellent results. The most important thing is to always be under supervision from your dentist. He can suggest the best options for whiter teeth to get the best outcomes out of your endeavour.
If you want to know more and get our opinion on what suits you best, contact Dr Scott Schwartz, aka #thetoothguy, and his fantastic team to understand how we can help you get that terrific set of pearly whites. You can find us at 1 Baltic Place, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520, or call us on (914) 271-6224.