I often get asked if charcoal is safe to use in a toothpaste. Common questions I get are "Is charcoal bad for teeth?" or "Is charcoal abrasive on enamel?"
In the past few years, many charcoal based teeth whitening products have appeared in the market. These products include toothpaste, tooth powder and as of recently, mouthwashes.
These products almost always look black in color. Charcoal powder is the worst of all. This is because it is not hygienic to dip your toothbrush in the powder every day. There is a big chance of bacterial contamination.
These tooth powders are also very messy and get everywhere around your sink and bathroom, which believe me, it is not something you want. It is not recommended to use toothpaste or powder that has the ingredient charcoal listed as the first ingredient.
This means that the majority of the product is made out of charcoal. Although charcoal is a great adsorbent, which means that it helps get rid of bad breath and could help whiten teeth, it is abrasive and could hurt your teeth and cause enamel abrasion.
As a consumer you need to read labels and make sure that the ingredients used in your daily oral care products are safe at the amounts used.
This means that less than 1% of the formula is charcoal. We use only enough amounts of fine activated charcoal powder to be effective but not to overpower the formula and be abrasive to the enamel.
Next time you are ready to purchase a product, pay attention to the list of ingredients and their hierarchy on the list.
The first ingredient on the list is the major component of that product, therefore be cautious and make sure in the amounts used, the ingredient is still safe. If you don't understand the latin words, Google it.
You will be surprised how much you can find out by just spending a few minutes and researching. It's also a great idea to teach kids what to look for and how to read labels.
In the U.S., there are few regulations on ingredients used in products compared to other countries. In Europe over 1,200 ingredients are banned.
In order for products to be registered and sold in Europe, they need to go through comprehensive ingredient checks. Consumers don't need to worry about the safety of ingredients used.
In the U.S., however, we need to be our own police and research ingredients to make sure they are safe to use. A little effort will go a long way.
Hope this article was helpful.
Cheers to your health,
Pooneh Ramezani DDS, CEO Dr. Brite
1. Is it safe to use charcoal toothpaste daily?
Charcoal toothpaste is abrasive, making it unsuitable for daily use.
The use of abrasive materials on your teeth can wear down your tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Dentin, a yellow-orange calcified tissue, can be exposed, causing your teeth to appear yellower.
2. Is charcoal toothpaste bad for your teeth?
Charcoal toothpaste can harm your teeth's enamel
Additionally to temporarily removing stains, using an abrasive toothpaste with charcoal in it can actually cause too much abrasion, wearing down your tooth enamel over time. When you lose your teeth's enamel, it's gone for good.
3. How often can you use charcoal toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste is gaining popularity because it is primarily known for its ability to whiten teeth. Some famous brands are also using charcoal powder in their toothpaste. Charcoal toothpaste is also known as activated charcoal toothpaste. Activated charcoal powder is a common ingredient in most toothpastes. But the charcoal toothpaste is different from the normal one. It has a better taste than the normal toothpaste and is effective in removing stains, plaque and bad breath. Charcoal toothpaste is effective in removing discoloration of teeth. It is even effective in treating gingivitis. Although charcoal toothpaste is good for health, you must use it in a proper way. You should use charcoal toothpaste no more than 2-3 times per week. Taking charcoal toothpaste more than this will only make your teeth more sensitive. So, use charcoal toothpaste after consulting a dentist.
4. Do dentists recommend charcoal toothpaste?
According to the American Dental Association, charcoal toothpaste is neither safe nor beneficial, and it may even be harmful to teeth and gums. Charcoal toothpaste is falsely marketed as a teeth-whitening agent that can remove particles.
5. Is charcoal toothpaste bad for your gums?
An abrasive toothbrush can also negatively affect gingival health. Regularly using charcoal toothpaste can result in a wide range of dental issues. It may be necessary to perform a gum graft if the damage is so extensive that you need to replace the missing tissues.