Charcoal is a substance with a variety of uses that is gaining a reputation in the beauty and health community.
This substance is now in many health products such as face masks, lotions, cosmetics, soaps, and even toothpaste.
“Activated” charcoal is made from a mixture of petroleum coke, olive pits, coconut shells, peat, sawdust, or bone char. This special type of charcoal is produced through the use of extremely hot temperatures that modify its composition, creating microscopic pores that enlarge the overall surface area of the carbon. These pores make the active charcoal act like a magnet that absorbs all impurities it comes across.
For centuries, the health benefits of charcoal have been known and used to treat a multitude of health conditions. For instance, since the 1800s, charcoal has been used as an antidote for drug poisoning. Charcoal also helps keep kidneys healthy, is used as a popular skin treatment for acne, and keeps cholesterol levels in check. How successful these products depend on what the product is being used for, and the person being treated, however.
Looking online, you might have seen an image of a big white smile selling a brand of charcoal toothpaste. Observing the black charcoal being scrubbed in someone’s mouth can look strange, but once the toothpaste is washed away, their teeth appear perfectly white. After seeing these ads, we’re left wondering: Is this real or just the magic of advertising?
When it comes to your teeth, charcoal toothpaste has not been proven to be either a safe or effective method for whitening. Rather, it has shown to lead to more injury to your teeth than other whitening products. Additionally, it hasn’t received the Seal of Acceptance from the ADA, as they feel there is “insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.”
What’s so damaging about charcoal-based toothpaste? Rough-in nature, charcoal scrubs away the tooth enamel. This can expose dentin, leading to greater tooth sensitivity, and increase your risk of getting cavities. Tooth enamel doesn’t grow back once it has been worn away, which makes avoiding products that damage your enamel important.
For patients interested in at-home teeth whitening, several safe options are effective, such as fluoride toothpaste, peroxide-based whitening products like Whitestrips.
For more effective teeth whitening methods, contact Twin Dental today to learn about the treatment options we have available!