Charcoal is a versatile product that has been gaining popularity in the health world.
It can be found in health products such as lotions, soaps, face masks, toothpaste, and even cosmetics.
“Activated” charcoal is made up of olive pits, coconut shells, peat, sawdust, petroleum coke, or bone char. It is produced at very high temperatures in a process that create pores that act as magnets for impurities. These pores are microscopic and allow the charcoal to have a very large overall surface area.
The benefits of charcoal were discovered centuries ago. For example, in the 1800s, charcoal was used as an antidote for drug poisoning.
Products with charcoal in them provide benefits such as keeping kidneys in working condition, reducing cholesterol levels, and as effective topical treatments for acne. Even though activated charcoal is considered safe in the previously mentioned instances, patients should know that the success of these treatments has been known to vary from person to person.
While browsing the internet, you might have stumbled upon an image of someone with a dazzling white smile promoting a brand of toothpaste with active charcoal in it. The image of them brushing the black substance in their mouth seems counterintuitive, but once black toothpaste is rinsed off, their teeth are whiter. Are these results accurate?
Sadly, charcoal toothpaste has not proven itself to be an effective or safe way to obtain a whiter smile at home. It’s far more likely to damage your teeth than other whitening products. Additionally, it hasn’t been appointed the Seal of Acceptance from the ADA. As concluded by the Journal of the ADA, there is “insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.”
What are the consequences of using this kind of toothpaste? Well, because of its roughness, charcoal-based toothpaste wears down the tooth enamel. This can lead to a greater risk of cavities and increased tooth sensitivity. Unfortunately, tooth enamel won’t come back once it’s gone, so it’s crucial to protect your enamel by avoiding products that might damage it.
For patients who are interested in at-home teeth whitening, several safe options are effective. Certain peroxide-based whitening products such as Whitestrips, fluoride toothpaste, and in-office whitening sessions work well.
Schedule an in-office tooth whitening appointment at Olney Dental Center today!