fbpx Skip to main content

Everyone seems to want whiter teeth.  Does charcoal toothpaste really work?

When it comes to whitening teeth, there are many different methods being promoted online and in magazines. When the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what was their number one goal to improving their smile, the answer among the majority of respondents was to have whiter teeth.  There are a number of methods being touted including swishing oils in your mouth, using turmeric in your daily routine, to scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste to give you a brighter smile.

A common claim among bloggers on the internet is that brushing with activated charcoal toothpaste is an all-natural way to remove tough surface stains from drinking coffee, tea or red wine without using bleach or abrasives. There is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth, according to the September 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.  

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that using products that are too abrasive for your teeth can be counterproductive and actually leave your teeth looking more yellow. The goal is to whiten the enamel on your teeth.  If you scrub with abrasives that are too rough you will wear the enamel away and leave the next layer of your tooth exposed, which is a softer, yellow tissue called dentin.  The ADA recommends only using whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Kim Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, says, “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth. She is concerned that the grainy charcoal substance may actually damage your teeth and gums. “Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth.  We don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of it,” she says. Dr. Harms added that the use of activated charcoal should not replace regular teeth cleaning and flossing, or visits to the dentist. “The important part of brushing and flossing is the physical removal of plaque.  The toothpaste you’re using, from a dentist’s point of view, delivers fluoride to teeth,” she says. “We’re concerned about practices where people are using produces without fluoride.  Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.”

Dr. Melchers and his staff are here to help address any of your dental health issues and decide the best course of treatment for their patients.  Contact us today at oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.