The New Craze
You may have noticed that charcoal seems to be popping up everywhere. From bodywash, facemasks, shampoo, and now dental products. Everyone is charcoal crazy! Our hygienist wants you to know the pros and cons of this new charcoal sensation. Read below to get all the facts on charcoal we know so far.
With many of the charcoal products out there, you may see the term “activated charcoal”. So, what is that exactly? Activated means the charcoal is reheated and purified to enhance it’s natural absorptive abilities. Activated charcoal is used as finely ground, tasteless and odorless black powder.
Is it safe to use? As far as safety is concerned, activated charcoal is safe to ingest.
Does it whiten teeth? Currently, there is no substantial or appropriate evidence to prove the efficacy and safety of activated charcoal as a whitening agent.
Does it harm enamel? The Journal of Physics recently published an experimental study comparing the effects of three different dentifrices on extracted teeth. One dentifrice used distilled water, the second, a regular toothpaste and the third a toothpaste containing activated charcoal. This study showed that the toothpaste containing the charcoal caused significantly more enamel toughness that the other two.
Does toothpaste containing activated charcoal also contain fluoride? Out of 50 toothpastes containing activated charcoal, only 4 contained fluoride.
We encourage patients to use whitening methods that have been proven safe and effective. While the information that we do have shows it is safe to ingest, there is no concrete evidence that it actually whitens teeth. We hope to see more research of these products so that we can better understand activated charcoal and confidently advise patients on their effectiveness.