In the world of hygiene and cosmetic products, manufacturers are always looking for a new ingredient to set their product apart from the crowd. Activated charcoal is now a featured ingredient in many commercially-available products such as face wash, makeup, and even toothpaste as a natural whitener for teeth.
But does activated charcoal actually effective at whitening teeth or is it merely a gimmick that can actually risk your health? Kingsland, GA dentist Dr. James Lassiter and the American Dental Association are here to give you the truth about charcoal toothpaste.
Charcoal is a porous black solid form of carbon that is created by burning wood or other organic material. Charcoal is considered “activated” when it’s burned at even higher temperatures, giving it a sticky quality.
This stickiness of activated charcoal is why it’s used in medicine to absorb toxins in the stomach in cases of poisoning or overdose. But does it actually work to draw stains out of your tooth enamel?
Should I Use Charcoal Toothpaste?
The American Dental Association has found zero evidence that charcoal toothpaste is effective at whitening teeth and, in fact, it may actually harm the teeth and gums.
Activated charcoal is abrasive, which can damage or even scrape away the outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. The enamel is what you want to whiten when you use a whitening toothpaste, but using a charcoal-based toothpaste can remove enamel and expose the under-layer of the enamel called dentin.
Modern toothpaste and toothbrushes are designed to gently polish the surface of the teeth, and you don’t want something abrasive scratching your teeth and removing precious enamel. Removing enamel actually makes your teeth more likely to get stained.
Alternatives to Natural Whitening
The best ways to naturally whiten teeth are by developing and maintaining healthy oral care habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved whitening toothpaste, limiting intake of highly-pigmented or dyed foods like coffee and red wine, and regularly visiting Dr. Lassiter.
There are also in-office teeth whitening treatments that safely whiten the enamel without damaging it. There are also bleaching products available for sale in retail stores emblazoned with the ADA seal of approval meaning that they are safe for teeth.
The most important part of your smile is that it’s healthy and strong. If you’re in the Kingsland, GA area and are not sure about which teeth whitening procedure or product is best for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lassiter today by calling 912-208-2565 or contact us online.