Activated charcoal is now a featured ingredient in many commercially-available products such as face wash, makeup, and now, even toothpaste as a way to naturally whiten teeth. Does charcoal actually work to whiten teeth or is it a gimmick that can actually risk your health? Fullerton CA dentists Drs. Kush and Krutav Patel of Craft Smiles Dental and the American Dental Association have some advice for those who are curious about charcoal toothpaste.
Charcoal is a porous black solid form of carbon that is created by burning wood or other organic material. Charcoal is “activated” when it’s burned again at an even higher temperature, making it more effective at sticking to things.
This ability of activated charcoal to stick to things is why it’s commonly used by medical doctors to help absorb toxins in the stomach. But does it actually work to draw out stains from teeth?
Should I Use Charcoal Toothpaste?
The American Dental Association does not vouch for charcoal toothpaste as either safe or effective, and, in fact, it may actually harm the teeth and gums.
Activated charcoal is abrasive and could even remove the outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. The enamel is what you want whitened whenever you use a whitening toothpaste, but using charcoal-based toothpaste can actually remove enamel and expose a more yellow layer of the tooth called dentin.
Modern toothpaste and toothbrushes are formulated and designed to gently clean the surface of the teeth. An abrasive like activated charcoal is anything but gentle and could remove your precious enamel. The topmost layer of enamel is naturally resistant to stains, but the under layers are not and will be stained more quickly and severely if exposed.
Alternatives to Natural Whitening
The best methods to naturally whiten teeth are maintaining healthy oral habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved whitening toothpaste, limiting intake of staining foods like coffee and red wine, and regularly visiting Craft Smiles Dental in Fullerton CA.
There are also in-office teeth whitening procedures done by most dentists that safely whiten the enamel without damaging it. Bleaching products with the ADA seal of approval that are safe for teeth are also widely available in most drug stores.
The most important part of your smile is that it is healthy. If you’re unsure about which teeth whitening procedure is best for you, call (714) 888-7008 or schedule an appointment online with one of the Drs. Patel today.