We all want to have the brightest smile and we’re ready and willing to explore new avenues of experimentation to achieve the optimum oral health even if this means brushing with charcoal toothpaste. The seeming popularity of new and trendy dental health practices only fuels our desire to achieve the best mouth possible. And when trend meets medical practice, meets internet popularity we just must try it! After all, we all love an easy to follow trend (so says the leg warmers and parachute pants haunting your closet).
But, just because a practice is used by supermodels and actors doesn’t always mean it’s best, or even a safe practice. And you know where I’m going with this…activated charcoal toothpaste. Nation-wide and even local practices like Eldorado Dental aren’t jumping on the charcoal toothpaste express because, well, charcoal toothpaste isn’t the cure-all dental care it claims to be.
Charcoal, on its own, is useful beyond the bar-b-q. In medical applications, charcoal can be used to absorb and eliminate toxins from the body. The dental applications aren’t as useful. While there are claims that charcoal toothpaste adheres to tooth ridges, removing debris and staining to leave a whiter surface, there is little to no evidence that supports this claim. In fact, a review of 118 articles found little to no evidence that activated charcoal toothpaste did any good. One study noted that using the tooth cleaner actually caused enamel erosion which led to cavities. Not the look any of us are going for.
What’s more alarming, while so many people are jumping on the activated charcoal bandwagon, one major point is being ignored. Charcoal tooth paste is lacking in fluoride. Fluoride is essential in building up strong teeth and fighting off decay. Removing it from your daily brushing can be detrimental to your teeth.
And, here’s the big one, do you really want black specks flung around your sink and faucet? Many activated charcoal pastes come in a powder form and trying to brush your teeth with powder is messy not just for your face but your sink as well. No one wants their sink to look like your toothbrush and a dirt clod had a fight.
So, skip the ugly black stuff that makes you look like you’ve been enjoying mud pies in the backyard and invest in a good solid whitening toothpaste to really deliver on the promise of strong, pearly whites.