If you haven’t noticed, charcoal is everywhere lately.
Charcoal teeth whitening, charcoal face masks, charcoal toothpastes, and the list goes on! All these things are blowing up our social media feeds and it can be quite startling to see a smile smeared in what looks like black dirt.
But is charcoal toothpaste safe? Is it effective? Or is it all just a gimmick?
Let’s find out!
So, what is activated charcoal?
Basically it is known for its detoxifying powers. It binds to chemicals and prevents any harmful substances from being absorbed by the body. But it isn’t the same kind of charcoal you might find in your barbecue. This kind of charcoal is also called activated carbon, which has millions of tiny pores that trap toxins and chemicals.
How does it work?
Activated charcoal works by trapping unwanted materials, toxins, and chemicals within its pores and then it’s flushed away. This process is called adsorption.
Charcoal toothpaste concerns:
The biggest concern people have with using charcoal toothpaste is eroding enamel. If the toothpaste is too abrasive, it could wear down your enamel and cause permanent damage to your teeth over time. So be careful when choosing a charcoal toothpaste, make sure it isn’t too gritty!
Charcoal toothpaste benefits:
If you’re a coffee or wine drinker, charcoal toothpaste could benefit you because it does great at removing stains! It is also good for removing acidic plaque and improving halitosis, or bad breath. This is because it raises the pH of your mouth.
How to use your charcoal toothpaste:
The first thing to know is that charcoal toothpaste isn’t the same as normal toothpaste, so you shouldn’t be using it the same way. Instead of brushing it on your teeth, you can just smear it on them and let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then rinse. Do not aggressively brush because that will lead to the wearing down of your enamel! You also don’t have to use it everyday, or at all if you don’t think you need the benefits. But if you do, it’s definitely worth trying!
Thanks to Dr. Mark Burhenne for the inspiration for this blog!
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113