You might have seen pictures of people on the Internet brushing their teeth with something that looks completely black and, quite frankly, rather unpleasant, and you may have wondered if it is effective. Charcoal toothpaste has become increasingly popular over the past few years and promises to give you a brighter, whiter smile when you use it instead of ordinary white toothpaste. But will it deliver its promises, and is it safe for use?
What Is Charcoal Toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste is very different from ordinary toothpaste and contains an activated charcoal mixture, a form of carbon. Usually, charcoal toothpaste will not contain fluoride, an important ingredient in ordinary toothpaste that helps protect your teeth against tooth decay by hardening your tooth enamel.
How Does Charcoal Toothpaste Whiten Teeth?
The charcoal in the toothpaste is quite abrasive, and any abrasive substance can remove some surface stains from your teeth by scrubbing your tooth enamel. Initially, it may seem as if charcoal toothpaste is a good idea but bear in mind that the abrasive action can wear down your tooth enamel, doing more harm than good. Also, as your tooth enamel becomes thinner, more of the natural colour of your tooth will shine through. This natural colour is almost certainly darker, so instead of your teeth looking whiter, they will gradually begin to look yellow or even grey. If you do want to whiten your teeth, ask us about whitening safely. We can use professional strength whitening products that are unavailable to the general public and gently and effectively lift deep-seated stains from your teeth without damaging them. A professional tooth whitening treatment can brighten your teeth by several shades, creating a significant and noticeable difference.
Can Using Charcoal Toothpaste Freshen My Breath?
There is no real evidence that charcoal toothpaste freshens your breath more effectively than ordinary fluoride toothpaste. Also, the charcoal paste can become stuck in between your teeth or may even discolour dental restorations. If you are concerned about fresh breath, come and see us for a dental checkup. We can carefully assess your teeth and gums to determine if you have any problems that could cause halitosis or bad breath and, if needed, can provide appropriate treatment.
Can Charcoal Toothpaste Detoxify Gums?
There is no evidence that using charcoal toothpaste will detoxify your gums. Although using it may scrub away plaque and tartar, it will not help improve your gum health. If you have noticed your gums bleed, look swollen or red or feel tender to touch, please come and see us as soon as possible. Poor gum health is often due to gum disease. This bacterial infection is easily reversible with appropriate dental care, including cleaning your teeth and gums professionally and improving your oral care routine at home.
Please ask us for practical help and advice during your next appointment if you want to know more about which toothpaste to choose. We can recommend oral health products suitable for your needs and proven effective and gentle.