Charcoal Toothpaste
Posted on 06/07/2019
Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal Toothpaste Fad - It's Not So Black & White

Activated charcoal seems to be everywhere you look these days. Drink it in a smoothie, lather it on your face, or even use it to brush your teeth. The popularity of charcoal toothpaste specifically has increased as it has gained attention across the internet. But is this internet miracle product really all it's cracked up to be when it comes to getting and maintaining a whiter smile? Mack Orthodontics is committed to providing you with the best info on your dental/oral health and we're here to dive into this topic and answer your questions.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Charcoal toothpaste contains activated charcoal which has increased surface area compared to plain charcoal. This gives it higher adsorptive power and makes it capable of removing much of the unwanted substances adhered to the tooth surface. This property makes activated charcoal more beneficial in comparison to conventional charcoal as a tooth cleansing agent.

What Are the Risks?

The braces or Invisalign you use are only part of your journey to a more beautiful smile. While undergoing orthodontics, you want to ensure the health of your teeth is a priority as well. A risk associated with charcoal is how abrasive the powder can be. This can cause permanent damage to your enamel if used too regularly. In a nutshell, some risks posed by charcoal toothpastes are:

  • Dental Erosion: An irreversible loss of the tooth structure may occur with overuse of charcoal toothpaste. Dentin loss increases the risk of dental problems such as accumulation of stains, dental sensitivity due to exposure of dentin, and gingival recession. Its long-term use can result in sensitivity to both hot and cold foods.
  • Once the dentin is exposed, the risk of tooth caries increases.
  • Charcoal can also gradually settle in between the gums, leading to other complications like inflammation and trauma to the gums.

What Are the Benefits?

Every choice regarding your dental health while utilizing orthodontics is important, from deciding what foods to avoid to using the proper brushing and flossing techniques. So when you choose a toothpaste, you want to know exactly what you are getting out of that product. It has been argued that charcoal isn't specifically bad for teeth, it simply won't do much to whiten teeth since the active ingredient isn't in contact with the tooth long enough to have a meaningful effect. Still, charcoal tooth treatments have found plenty of believers who say that regular use of this black powder whitens the teeth and kills off bad breath-causing bacteria.

So What Now?

While charcoal toothpaste may be able to hold off signs of your Wednesday Wine Night, the effects will never compare to the results you can get from an in-house whitening treatment. Additionally, the dental health benefits are not as great as they could be. Because of this, and the risk of enamel erosion, Mack Orthodontics recommends that you arm yourself with a better quality product that will protect your teeth during the orthodontic treatment process. We invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our orthodontists at our Maquoketa, Eldridge, or Bettendorf, IA office in order to find out what type of orthodontic treatment is right for you and how to best protect your teeth during your orthodontic treatment journey. You can schedule an appointment online now!