Many people have wondered about charcoal toothpaste. Charcoal is currently very popular and is being used in a variety of different areas. You’ll find it in many applications including facials, vitamins, soap, and even shampoos. Recently, charcoal toothpaste is gaining in popularity for dental care.
What is ‘Activated’ Charcoal?
Charcoal is the substance left after something such as the wood in your fireplace has burned and is naturally a porous substance. When this charcoal is treated with gas the pores become larger and increase in number. This improves its ability to absorb impurities and is called ‘activated charcoal.’
Because charcoal has the ability to absorb impurities and grab foreign matter you’ll find it commonly used in water filters. It is so good at grabbing impurities doctors use activated charcoal to treat patients that experience overdoses or poisoning.
What Charcoal Toothpaste Can Do For You
Activated charcoal toothpaste can clean your teeth by removing plaque and stains, and will even whiten your teeth and improve your breath. It sounds pretty good, but what kinds of concerns or dangers are there?
Charcoal Toothpaste Dental Concerns
Charcoal is an abrasive substance. The outer white layer that protects your teeth is enamel, and it cannot be replaced. You only get the enamel you are born with. Since charcoal toothpaste is so abrasive, if it is used daily or you brush too aggressively you risk removing the enamel of your teeth and exposing the inner yellow dentin.
Charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride and therefore cannot protect your teeth. Fluoride is the only mineral that can harden the enamel of your teeth and is an added ingredient in commercial toothpaste. Without fluoride, the enamel of your teeth is at risk of developing cavities which can lead to more problems later.
A Word of Caution
Teeth that have exposed roots are at a higher risk of damage by charcoal toothpaste. If you choose to use charcoal toothpaste be careful not to ingest any. Also, if you take medications, check to make sure charcoal won’t interfere with them.
If you choose to use charcoal toothpaste avoid using it on a daily basis, but only as an occasional supplement to your regular dental care. Be careful to brush your teeth gently when using it.
Consult Your Dentist
Your smile is one of the first things people see when you meet them. Good dental care will help you to keep that great smile. If you have concerns regarding the whiteness of your teeth, consider calling a dentist for a consultation before using at home methods. Most dental professionals can whiten your teeth for a longer period of time than charcoal toothpaste, and without concern of enamel damage.
If you would like to consult a San Marcos dentist about professional or at home teeth whitening, contact the office of Dr. Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or set up an appointment for dental care.