In the competitive world of hygiene and cosmetic products, manufacturers are always looking for a new featured ingredient to set their product apart in the eyes of consumers. Activated charcoal is often used as a special ingredient in many retail products such as face wash, makeup, and even toothpaste, where it is claimed to have natural whitening abilities for teeth.
But is activated charcoal really effective at whitening teeth or is it just a sales gimmick that can actually risk your health? Cohoes, NY dentist Dr. Frederick Marra of Capital Region Complete Dental Care & Implants is here to give you the truth about charcoal toothpaste.
Charcoal is a porous black solid form of carbon that is made by burning wood or other organic material. Activated charcoal is created when charcoal is burned at even higher temperatures, giving it a sticky quality.
This stickiness is why activated charcoal has long been used in medicine to absorb toxins in the stomach to treat cases of poisoning or overdose. But does it actually absorb stains from enamel like it does toxins in your stomach?
Should I Use Charcoal Toothpaste?
The American Dental Association has found no evidence that charcoal toothpaste is at all effective at whitening teeth and may actually harm the teeth and gums.
Modern toothpaste and toothbrushes are designed to gently clean and polish the surface of the teeth. Charcoal is an abrasive substance and you don’t want something like that scraping your teeth and removing precious enamel. Not only is it harmful but removing enamel actually makes it more likely that your teeth will get stained.
Alternatives to Natural Whitening
The best ways to naturally whiten your teeth are by practicing healthy oral hygiene habits at home, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved whitening toothpaste, limiting your consumption of highly-pigmented or dyed foods like coffee and red wine, and regularly visiting Dr. Marra or your area dentist for cleanings.
In-office teeth whitening treatments are also available that safely whiten your enamel without damaging it. There are also safe ADA-approved bleaching products available in retail stores and pharmacies.
Caring For Your Teeth in Cohoes, NY
The most important thing about your smile is that it’s healthy. If you’re unsure about which teeth whitening product or procedure is best for you, call (518) 650-1930 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marra in Cohoes, NY today.