Charcoal Toothpaste: Myth or Fact?
At Passes Dental Care, we believe everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile, and we work hard to help our patients achieve one. We’re proud to offer a comprehensive array of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments at our Great Neck, NY office, but when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile, how you care for your teeth at home is just as important. Brushing and flossing are central to healthy teeth, but some people try to go above and beyond with supplemental at-home dental care to improve their smile. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know if a DIY treatment is boosting the health of your teeth or harming them – as is the case with a popular dental care trend, charcoal toothpaste.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Good or Bad for You?
A recent trend in DIY dental care is charcoal toothpaste: a form of toothpaste, either store-bought or made from scratch, that includes activated charcoal as its active ingredient. Activated charcoal is one of the most absorbent substances on the planet, so the thinking goes that it will “absorb” stains and discoloration from the teeth, acting as a natural teeth whitening agent. But is that really true?
Charcoal toothpaste is a relatively new trend, so there’s little clinical data available on its merits or dangers. There is some evidence that activated charcoal may help to remove surface stains on teeth, which can produce a small degree of whitening. However, charcoal can’t remove deeper stains or discoloration from the teeth, which means it’s not a teeth whitening agent – and even more importantly, it damages tooth enamel.
Charcoal is an abrasive substance, which means that it can scrape off and weaken tooth enamel when used as a form of toothpaste. One application won’t cause much of a problem, but repeated use of charcoal toothpaste could weaken the enamel over time, leading to tooth sensitivity or making the teeth more susceptible to cavities.
Charcoal toothpaste may create a slightly whiter smile by lifting and absorbing surface-level stains, but it hasn’t been proven safe or effective as a tooth whitening treatment, and prolonged use can damage tooth enamel. Plus, charcoal toothpaste has not received the “Seal of Acceptance” from the American Dental Association, which means it shouldn’t be taken as a reliable or safe dental treatment.
Contact Your Great Neck, NY Family Dentist
While activated charcoal could potentially whiten your teeth, the risks and uncertainties largely outweigh the potential benefits. But if you are looking for a dramatically whiter smile through a treatment that’s proven safe and effective, you’re in luck. We’re proud to offer in-office teeth whitening treatments that can dramatically whiten your smile in just one office visit, all without damaging your teeth. Give yourself the gift of a whiter smile: contact us to schedule a teeth whitening treatment today!