Often times Americans are big about following trends. Amazingly, this can even trickle down to dental trends. Do you brush with activated charcoal toothpaste? Well, we at Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg and Associates of Plantation, Florida want to let our readers know that while charcoal toothpaste has become increasingly popular, a new study warns that it’s may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Activated charcoal has been found to be ineffective in achieving its promised benefits. However, it might be even worse. The trendy toothpaste could actually be harmful to your teeth with potential risks like tooth decay, discoloration, and irritation, amongst others.
New Research Cautions Against Charcoal
The fad surrounding activated charcoal toothpaste has grown. Various brands and celebrities claim that it helps clean teeth, whitens, and reduces tooth decay. Some products go as far as stating that it clears toxins from the body and helps against infections.
However, in a paper published in the British Dental Journal, a team of experts explained that there’s no actual scientific evidence supporting the claims of activated charcoal toothpaste’s benefits.
The product could actually even work against the teeth since frequent and heavy brushing could wear down the enamel, especially those that are more sensitive. Since most of these products don’t even contain any fluoride, they also offer very limited protection from tooth decay as they promise.
Furthermore, charcoal-based materials are often abrasive, which could damage the enamel and the gums.
“When used too often in people with fillings, it can get into them and become difficult to get out,” Dr. Joseph Greenwall-Cohen, study co-author from the University of Manchester Dental School. “Charcoal particles can also get caught up in the gums and irritate them.”
More About Activated Charcoal
According to the study authors, the charcoal found in toothpaste is usually a powdered form of treated charcoal.
Charcoal is often made from various materials, including actual coal, bamboo, coconut husks, nutshells, and more. Even in ancient times, it had already been used for oral hygiene.
However, experts say that it’s not a practice that should be continued to this day, especially since there are better options in the market.
A 2017 review in the Journal of the American Dental Association also concluded that there is insufficient data to back the claims and safety of charcoal and charcoal-based dentistry products.
“Charcoal-based toothpaste offer no silver bullets for anyone seeking a perfect smile, and come with real risks attached,” Professor Damien Walmsley of the British Dental Association added. “So don’t believe the hype. Anyone concerned about staining or discolored teeth that can’t be shifted by a change in diet, or improvements to their oral hygiene, should see their dentist.”
As you can see, this isn’t the best idea for your teeth says, Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg who cares for his patients unlike any other dentist in South Florida, primarily the Plantation area. Whether you are getting extensive work done like a root canal, Invisalign, crowns, or full dentures, or lighter work such as whitening, fillings, or preventative oral care, this is your dentist’s office.
Dr. Rosenberg is a Miami, Florida native who received his undergrad degree from Emory University and got his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Georgetown University Dental School. He has been in private practice for over 20 years. Dr. Rosenberg is President-Elect of the Broward County Dental Association. He is Vice President of the Broward Dental Research Clinic where has been on the board of directors for five years. He is a member of the Intracoastal Study Club. Professional memberships include the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, the Atlantic Coast District Dental Association, and the Broward County Dental Association.