Is Charcoal Good for Your Teeth?

 Is Charcoal Good for Your Teeth?


You may have seen ads or social media posts claiming that charcoal in toothpaste and toothbrushes can help achieve a brighter and healthier smile. But is charcoal truly good for your teeth? Let’s take a close look at charcoal in dental products and separate fact from fiction.

Pros of Charcoal Dental Products

Potential Surface Stain Removal

Charcoal has adsorbent properties, which means it can bind to certain compounds, including surface stains on teeth. This can help remove superficial stains and provide a temporary improvement in tooth color.

Freshening Effects

Activated charcoal has a porous structure with a large surface area. This gives it a unique ability to draw in food particles and other harmful substances from the mouth, leading to fresher breath. Additionally, the grainy texture of charcoal toothpaste may provide a mild exfoliating effect, leaving your teeth feeling cleaner and smoother.

Cons of Charcoal Dental Products

Abrasive Cleaning

Charcoal dental products tend to be gritty and coarse. While a certain level of abrasiveness is necessary for effective cleaning, excessive abrasion can damage tooth enamel over time, leading to increased tooth sensitivity and potential enamel erosion.

Lack of Fluoride

Many charcoal toothpaste options do not contain fluoride, a vital component in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps protect against cavities. Therefore, relying solely on charcoal dental products may leave your teeth more susceptible to decay and other problems.

Unproven Long-Term Effects

Despite claims of its benefits, the long-term effects of charcoal dental products remain uncertain. Limited scientific research exists to support the claims made by manufacturers, and the potential risks associated with prolonged and exclusive use of these products have not been thoroughly studied.

Potential Mess and Staining

Charcoal can be messy, leaving dark residue on the sink, toothbrush, and even your gums. Additionally, the black color of charcoal toothpaste may temporarily stain toothbrush bristles, and lodged charcoal particles can make them harder to clean.

Professional Guidance Is Key

While charcoal dental products may have some potential benefits, it’s important to remember that oral health decisions should be made with the guidance of dental professionals. Here are a couple of recommendations:

1. Consult Your Dentist.

Before incorporating charcoal dental products into your oral care routine, consult your dentist. They can evaluate your oral health, assess the need for teeth whitening, and provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances.

2. Maintain a Comprehensive Oral Care Routine.

Remember that dental health extends beyond just teeth whitening. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly are crucial for maintaining optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening in Joliet

While charcoal dental products may offer some benefits, their potential risks and long-term effects must be considered. The best approach to oral care is a comprehensive one that includes professional advice, a balanced diet, regular dental check-ups, and a consistent oral hygiene routine.

At Smile League Dental, we prioritize your oral health and provide expert guidance for achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. We take pride in providing professional teeth whitening options that are safe, effective, and tailored to your specific needs. You can contact us at 815-782-6243.


Uses, Benefits and Risks of Activated Charcoal and Your Teeth

Uses, Benefits and Risks of Activated Charcoal and Your Teeth

Activated charcoal has been touted as a teeth whitening solution by toothpaste companies for years. But does it really offer lasting results or are the benefits it offers only myths? In order to understand that, we need to deep dive into this ‘miraculous’ solution.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fine powder or mixture comprise of peat, coal, sawdust, coconut shells or olive pits. It’s called ‘activated’ because it is treated to high temperatures, which alter its internal structure. The process significantly reduces its pores, which results in a larger surface area.

This charcoal is NOT to be confused with the charcoal used in traditional outdoor barbecues. Those are briquettes, the only difference being they are not activated at high temperatures and contain substances, which can be toxic if ingested.

What does Activated Charcoal do for Teeth?

Activated charcoal is super absorbent and it can allegedly detox your mouth. When applied, it sticks to tartar, leftover food, bacteria and stains and takes them with it when it is removed. The result should be a cleaner mouth and whiter teeth, right?

However, there is no scientific evidence proving what those toothpaste commercials promote. There is no proof, for instance, that activated charcoal effects stains below the enamel or can naturally whiten teeth.

Here are some facts about this charcoal:

  • It is too abrasive for everyday use and can wear down enamel with time. This can expose the dentin, which can make your teeth more sensitive and look yellow in appearance.
  • Many charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride, a substance that is essential when it comes to strengthening tooth enamel. Weak enamel can invite cavities and decay and if you use abrasive activated charcoal toothpaste, you will make the damage worse.
  • It can stain teeth as particles accumulate in crevices and cracks, thus defeating its alleged purpose.

Since there is no scientific data suggesting activated charcoal is beneficial for teeth whitening, no product that contains it has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. However, despite this, consumers still fall victim to advertising and use these products to their detriment.

If you must use it, use your fingers rather than your toothbrush to apply it to your teeth in order to reduce damage and don’t swallow it, otherwise it can result in an upset stomach. Additionally, activated charcoal products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are considered unsafe for pregnant/breastfeeding women and children.

Book an Appointment with Us Today!

Whether you use charcoal-based dental products or something else, you should get your teeth checked regularly to keep them strong and healthy. That is the best way to prevent cavities and infections, which may worsen if you have an underlying condition. Smile League Dental takes walk-in appointments as well so we can provide care to the most vulnerable patients when needed. The longer you delay, the worse your teeth will get. Get in touch with us for an appointment today.