From claims of whitening and anti-cavity properties to formulations for sensitive teeth, it seems like toothpaste brands today come in lots of different varieties. One of the new developments is the inclusion of charcoal. Toothpaste manufacturers may claim that charcoal can whiten your teeth, remove stains, and clean deeply. But compared to regular toothpaste, does charcoal toothpaste work?
In this post, we’ll explore how toothpaste works in the first place and see if charcoal toothpaste offers any definite advantages. You may be surprised at the answer!
What Makes Your Toothpaste Work?
Simply put, your toothpaste is a suspension of different ingredients with specific purposes. Overall, the purpose of toothpaste is to help remove food debris and buildup from your teeth while promoting your overall oral health.
So, what are the ingredients that do all this work? Among them are surfactants, abrasives, anti-desiccant and anti-bacterial agents, as well as fluorides.
Fluorides are perhaps the most popularly known ingredient in oral care products. Small, safe amounts of fluoride in your toothpaste help strengthen your enamel and dental bones. Plus, the FDA has labeled it safe for use, and dentists use and recommend it regularly to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health.
Next, anti-bacterial agents are pretty self-explanatory. They control the spread of bacteria inside your mouth.
Finally, abrasives and surfactants are critical components of toothpaste. Abrasives work as the name suggests: they are rough particles that scrub away plaque and tartar buildup in your teeth as you brush. Meanwhile, surfactants are what make toothpaste foamy when you start brushing. This serves to maximize the toothpaste’s cleaning power by distributing it evenly inside your mouth.
So, the question remains: does charcoal toothpaste work? Which category of ingredient does charcoal fall under?
Does Charcoal in Your Toothpaste Work?
Charcoal is a carbon byproduct of heating plant products, such as coconut shells or peat, until they lose all of their water content. However, the form of charcoal most often used for medical purposes is activated charcoal.
Activating charcoal increases its absorption power by introducing numerous pores in its structure. This makes it useful for absorbing poisons and other toxins when ingested orally under medical supervision.
However, unfortunately, many manufacturers seem to be jumping the gun on its efficacy as an ingredient in toothpaste. There is no significant evidence from clinical researchers or doctors suggesting it can brighten teeth, remove stains, or make any difference at all. The FDA has also not approved it to be effective for any of these purposes.
Therefore, you should take these statements with a grain of salt.
Conclusion: Just Another Trend?
In the end, it seems like while it isn’t explicitly unsafe to use, there aren’t any tangible benefits to using charcoal toothpaste. You’re better off just using a trusted, dentist-recommended toothpaste. The many different kinds of toothpaste on the market exist to serve your specific oral health needs. The right kind is what works for you and keeps you healthy, and the best way to find it is to consult a dentist.
At Pearl Modern Dentistry, we offer convenient and affordable dental care in Houston, TX. We focus on delivering the highest quality care to all of our patients based on their individual needs. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (713) 766-4389. We’ll be happy to serve you.