Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Regular dental hygiene is crucial for pearly whites, prevention of gum diseases and tooth decay, and for overall health too. Bearing in mind the importance of brushing teeth, we take time when buying toothpastes. It’s not a decision you make in a few seconds. Nor it is a decision that you make judging on what is the most popular toothpaste lately. Price does not play a certain role as well, taking in consideration that what is always the most expensive thing to buy does not always turn out to be the one with the most quality. You carefully assess all the benefits each toothpaste offers prior to opting for one. Nowadays, activated charcoal toothpastes have become incredibly popular. Here’s what you need to know about them. The aim of this article is to share all of the available information on this topic so that you can make the right decision for you.

What is activated charcoal?

Before you get informed about these toothpastes it is important to address activated charcoal itself. It has become such a popular ingredient lately, but what is it actually? Activated charcoal is a fine black powder comprised of coconut shells, bone char, peat, petroleum coke, olive pits, coal, or sawdust. Basically, this is just charcoal that becomes activated when it is processed at high temperatures[i]. The most popular reason that is hiding under the use of activated charcoal is to treat poisoning and drug overdoses. It has been suggested that activated charcoal works even better than the act of stomach pumping itself. Next in line are problems such as bloating, gas, hangovers, high cholesterol and so on. Activated charcoal is a popular skincare and beauty ingredient, but it is also found in toothpastes. But what is the reason for adding activated charcoal in your toothpaste exactly? What should and should you not expect from using an activated charcoal toothpaste?

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How and do activated charcoal toothpastes work?

Activated charcoal toothpastes are, basically, pitch black toothpastes that promise you’ll have whiter teeth easily. They are marketed as an all-natural way to remove surface stains caused by wine, coffee, tea, and other factors without bleach and other harmful products. Teeth whitening can be quite expensive when done at your dentist’s office, and there is always the possibility that you will not get the same effect if you do it alone at home, using some of the most popular teeth whitening products sold at your favorite drugstore. So when people come across to something that is described to be both natural and efficient, it is expected that they will be drawn to such thing. It was only a matter of time someone would think of making activated charcoal toothpaste because the ingredient is widely used in health and lifestyle. And it seems that they did not go wrong. Activated charcoal is a purifying agent that effectively absorbs all impurities and discolorations. Dentists agree that these toothpastes might clean and eliminate those stains[ii]. This is a good new to hear if you are interested in removing any of those annoying stains on your teeth, but does the beneficial effects of the activated charcoal toothpaste stop there? And are any of these beneficial effects supported by an actual scientific research?

However, it is important to mention that at this point no scientific studies confirm the efficacy and benefit of activated charcoal for dental health[iii]. There is a chance that back in time charcoal was used to clean teeth due to unavailability of other ingredients. It is important to carry out more research on this subject to determine whether activated charcoal can help oral health. Since this is a popular topic worldwide, more research is expected to be done in the near future so that any misunderstandings can be finally solved and we can finally have the answer on whether or not the activated charcoal toothpaste is a safe and effective teeth whitening treatment or not.

While activated charcoal can remove stains and provide cleaning effects, it’s not clear whether it could do anything more than that and there are concerns about the risk of damaging your teeth. So you are, after all, at your own risk when decided on using an activated charcoal toothpaste. We would kindly advise you to consult your dentist about this issue and get his/her professional opinion on the matter. Only your dentist can give you the right advice that you need on such an important topic as this one. We are only here to share the general information that you need on the topic of activated charcoal toothpaste. Your decision on should or should you not use the activated charcoal toothpaste for the sole purpose of teeth whitening should be discussed with your dentist.

Not regular toothpastes

The primary source of concern is that many people don’t really understand activated charcoal toothpastes. They aren’t regular toothpastes to which charcoal was added. Instead, other agents are added to activated charcoal in order to amplify teeth-whitening effects. Charcoal-containing toothpastes are most effective when they are used to delay the recurrence of surface staining on teeth after a dental cleaning[iv]. If you’re interested in using charcoal toothpastes, it is important to bear in mind this is an abrasive ingredient. If you have a lot of gum tissue recession, the roots of teeth may become sensitive[v]. In addition, you must follow the instructions as they are provided with each activated charcoal toothpaste to make sure that you are using your new toothpaste right and no side effects will ever occur. It is always more practical to purchase a toothpaste from a reputable brand and consult a dentist before you go ahead and do it. Do not order your activated toothpaste online or buy a brand that you have not researched or discussed with your dentist before just because a friend has recommended it. Act smart and do your research and do schedule an appointment at your doctor’s office to discuss all the details.

Pros

  • Activated charcoal is a natural ingredient that has been used for centuries
  • Teeth-whitening effects
  • Removes stains from coffee, tea, etc.
  • In many products, the texture is same like in regular toothpaste
  • Removes toxins from teeth and gums

Cons

  • No scientific evidence to confirm this paste can do anything more than whiten your teeth
  • It’s an abrasive ingredient that could harm tooth enamel
  • Could have an adverse effect on gums if they are already weak and damaged

Conclusion

Activated charcoal toothpastes are a popular tool that people use to whiten their teeth and remove toxins from gums. Teeth whitening can be quite effective and many chemicals can be easily involved. That is why people usually turn to such safe, natural treatment option as the activated charcoal toothpaste is. However, it seems that the effects of the activated charcoal toothpaste stop there. No evidence suggests they can do more than that. More studies on this subject are necessary to determine whether they are really harmful or beneficial. Actually, more research needs to be done to determine whether or not we are talking about true beneficial teeth whitening method. Consult your doctor about this paste before buying it. If you want to check it out, then buy a toothpaste made by a reputable brand. Avoid any suspicious products sold online or at the local market. Always buy an activated charcoal toothpaste whose brand you can research at least online. And if your dentist is familiar with that same brand, then that is a plus!

References

[i] What is activated charcoal good for? Benefits and uses, Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal
[ii] Activated charcoal: teeth whitening secret or total scam? DailyBurn https://dailyburn.com/life/health/activated-charcoal-natural-teeth-whitening/
[iii]Brooks JK, Bashirelahi N, Reynolds MA. Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices. Journal of the American Dental Association 2017 Sep;148(9):661-70. Doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2017.05.001 http://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext
[iv]Greenwall L, Wilson NHF. Charcoal toothpastes: what we know so far. Pharmaceutical Journal 2017 Jul https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/correspondence/charcoal-toothpastes-what-we-know-so-far/20203167.article
[v] Is it safe to whiten your teeth with activated charcoal toothpaste? Health http://www.health.com/oral-health/charcoal-toothpaste
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