What is in Charcoal Toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste’s main ingredient is charcoal. Not just any charcoal, but activated charcoal. Natural substances such as wood and coconut shells are turned into charcoal through a slow-burning process. The charcoal is oxidized under extreme heat and turned into activated charcoal. The surface of activated charcoal’s particles is porous, which acts like a magnet for particles on the tooth’s surface, that are washed away when the charcoal is rinsed off. Other ingredients that you may find in charcoal toothpaste are xanthan gum which is a thickening agent, coconut oil which is a soothing and moisturizing agent, or stevia which is a sweetener. Most brands do not contain fluoride.
Does it really whiten teeth?
Yes…and no. Activated charcoal can remove stains but only on the surface. Stains below a tooth’s enamel cannot be whitened by charcoal toothpaste. Ultimately, charcoal toothpaste can lighten tooth color, but for a major whitening of tooth color, an in-office whitening treatment will be needed.
What are the cons?
Most brands of charcoal toothpaste do not have fluoride, which is important for preventing decay and strengthening the enamel. For people who have multiple fillings or crowns, the charcoal particles can embed in the margins of the fillings or crowns. This can result in a grey or black line over time that may necessitate a replacement of the dental work. The particles can also accumulate in the crevices, cracks, or defects of natural teeth and can lead to people brushing forcefully or excessively long, which can cause abrasion to the teeth.
Are there better alternatives?
Yes! There are better, safer, and more effective alternatives. Contact the team at Inspired Dental for all of your teeth whitening and dental needs.