If you keep up on dental trends, you may have heard of a product called charcoal toothpaste. This black paste is exactly what it sounds like: toothpaste made with activated charcoal. It stands out for its black color, which temporarily colors your teeth black as you brush, and then washes clean when you rinse away the paste. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you may be rinsing away more than just paste when you rinse!
That’s because due to the abrasive nature of charcoal toothpaste, you could be causing microfine scratches in your tooth enamel, which are permanent! These scratches can leave your teeth vulnerable to chips, cracks and even cavities.
So, why would anyone want to use charcoal toothpaste? The touted benefits are supposedly whiter teeth; however, charcoal whitens no better than whitening paste and only removes surface stains – it does not permanently whiten the teeth.
Despite these warnings, charcoal toothpaste continues to grow in popularity online and with retailers. But now its damaging effects may finally be getting charcoal toothpaste its just deserts. A lawsuit filed in Oklahoma against one brand claims that the toothpaste is dangerous and not at all safe for teeth as it claims to be. This of course is just one brand of toothpaste, but more suits could follow if this case is successful.
Another new trend in the charcoal world is the charcoal-bristle brush, which claims to do the same thing as the paste, but the charcoal is infused in the bristles of the toothbrush. Though it’s supposedly better for the planet and for your teeth, these brushes have the same abrasive qualities as charcoal toothpaste and could still scratch the enamel, even if you’re using regular toothpaste.
While it is not clear what the outcome of the charcoal toothpaste lawsuit will be, it’s safe to say that charcoal toothpaste is one trend worth skipping. If you are concerned about how white your teeth are, you have surface staining, or you are looking for a safe, natural toothpaste, speak to Dr. Abelar and his staff. We can point you in the direction of procedures such as whitening trays or laser lightening, or products like whitening trays or all-natural toothpastes that are both safe and effective.