If you’ve scrolled through social media sites, like Instagram, lately you’ve most likely come across a few posts advertising activated charcoal toothpaste. While popular social media influencers say it is a natural alternative to toothpastes containing peroxide to whiten teeth, what do we really know about activated charcoal in toothpaste? Does it really work and, more importantly, is it safe?
Cooking charcoal is typically made from slow-burned natural materials, like wood, peat, or coconut shells. According to Colgate, activated charcoal is “created for medical purposes by heating regular charcoal in the presence of a gas, causing it to become more porous.” Because of this, it is most commonly used to treat drug overdoses and accidental poisonings.
While it can be a great tool for removing toxins from the body, we at League City Elite Dentistry urge you to consider a few things before trying activated charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth:
- Make sure the powder is extra fine. Activated charcoal that is not extra fine can be too harsh on the teeth and remove more than just surface stains. If too coarse, the toothpaste can eventually strip away the protective enamel on your teeth as well.
- Do NOT use daily. Activated charcoal is very abrasive on the teeth and gums. For this reason, it is recommended not to use this type of toothpaste as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Instead, reduce use to once a month.
- Consult with us! Your orthodontist or dentist is your best resource for finding out the best plan of action for maintaining a white, bright smile. Not all trends work for everyone and when it comes to improving your smile, it is important to ask a licensed dental professional before getting involved in anything that could have a negative effect on your oral health and body.
The ADA Has Yet to Approve
One thing to consider when mentioning charcoal toothpaste is the fact that the American Dental Association (ADA) has not yet given its seal of approval for recommended use. In 2017, the ADA published an article stating that there needs to be more studies to prove whether or not charcoal is safe for oral care.
Although social media has gotten more people interested in taking better care of their teeth, nothing beats a good professional cleaning. To find out if charcoal toothpaste is right for you, contact us for more information.