The truth about charcoal toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste has gained popularity in recent years due to its claims of whitening teeth and removing stains. However, despite its rising popularity, there are several reasons why charcoal toothpaste may not be the best choice for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

  1. Abrasive Nature: Charcoal toothpaste is often more abrasive than traditional toothpaste. The gritty texture of charcoal can be harsh on tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth that protects it from decay and sensitivity. Using abrasive toothpaste can wear down enamel over time, leading to increased tooth sensitivity and a higher risk of cavities.
  2. Lack of Fluoride: Many charcoal toothpaste products do not contain fluoride, a mineral that is essential for preventing tooth decay and strengthening enamel. Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth and make them more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and plaque. Without fluoride, your teeth are more vulnerable to decay and other oral health issues.
  3. Ineffective Whitening: While charcoal toothpaste may claim to whiten teeth, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. The abrasive nature of charcoal may remove surface stains, but it is unlikely to penetrate deep enough to whiten teeth effectively. In fact, using charcoal toothpaste excessively may lead to the erosion of enamel and actually make teeth appear more yellow over time.
  4. Potential for Gum Irritation: The abrasive nature of charcoal toothpaste can also irritate the gums and soft tissues in the mouth. Scrubbing charcoal toothpaste vigorously on the teeth can lead to gum recession, sensitivity, and even damage to the delicate gum tissue. Healthy gums are essential for overall oral health, so it’s important to choose oral care products that are gentle on the gums.

As a dentist, I will be sticking to fluoride-containing toothpaste. If you are concerned about tooth discoloration or stains, book in with one of our friendly dentists for safe and effective whitening options that won’t compromise your oral health in the long term.

Source: Dr Kyle Lye