There are plenty of toothpaste brands on the market, and the majority of them work just fine. Not only can you find a variety of flavours, but you can also get toothpaste for sensitive teeth, for children, for teeth whitening, and more. Lately, a new kind of toothpaste has arrived that promises brighter teeth – charcoal toothpaste. But is this newest trend effective or just a marketing gimmick?
Why Put Charcoal in Toothpaste?
The idea behind charcoal toothpaste is that activated charcoal – charcoal that has been made more porous than usual – absorbs toxins that darken or yellow your teeth. This statement is at least partially true. Activated charcoal does absorb many toxic substances. In fact, doctors sometimes use it to treat cases of poisoning, and activated charcoal can aid in water purification.
However, this does not mean that charcoal toothpaste will whiten your teeth effectively. Tooth stains are not the result of toxins per se. Instead, they are caused by dark compounds from tobacco, food, and beverages settling into the enamel of your teeth.
Charcoal toothpaste may actually be harmful to your teeth for several reasons. First off, many brands of charcoal toothpaste do not contain fluoride, a crucial ingredient of any toothpaste. Without fluoride, a toothpaste lacks cavity-fighting power, and these toothpastes are not approved by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).
Secondly, charcoal toothpaste may be too abrasive for your teeth. A little abrasiveness in a toothpaste is a good thing, for example, toothpaste with baking soda. This property helps the toothpaste scrub food particles from your teeth. But charcoal may damage your teeth. Charcoal toothpaste can potentially cause harm to veneers, crowns, and other dental work. It can also damage your teeth’s enamel over time.
Better Choices for Whitening
If you want to use a whitening toothpaste, choose one with both fluoride and the CDA seal of approval. You can be assured that such a toothpaste works to fight cavities and is unlikely to damage your teeth. There are many whitening toothpastes available, and your dentist can help you make an appropriate choice.
You might also consider professional whitening from your dentist. Your dental professional will have access to potent whitening treatments that can lighten even heavily-stained teeth. These products may come in the form of liquids or gels that are applied at home or in the dental office. Speak with your dentist for recommendations and advice on effective tooth whitening procedures.