Charcoal Toothpaste - Good or Bad?

Charcoal Toothpaste - Good or Bad?
Posted on 12/26/2018
charcoal toothpaste

Charcoal Toothpaste - Good or Bad?
charcoal toothpaste

Multiple patients have asked me about using charcoal toothpaste to whiten their teeth, and also, as a daily toothpaste.  I personally have not tried charcoal toothpaste, but I have looked into its benefits and cons. 

This rage has been spreading on the internet especially.  If you read reviews and companies' blogs, they will tell you that activated charcoal is said to be a good natural alternative to peroxide for whitening teeth.  The charcoal powder is thought to absorb and remove stains caused by foods like coffee, red wine, and tea.  It is also thought to be some sort of magnet that attracts and absorbs impurities, which is why it is used in water filtration systems.

But does it really work and should you be using it in place of your daily fluoride toothpaste?

Charcoal is pretty abrasive, so if you do decide to use it, make sure that the powder is extra fine, and you do not use it daily.  Due to its abrasiveness, it can wear away the first layer of the tooth - the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity, teeth which are more prone to decay, and actually yellower teeth, as the second layer - the dentin, is yellow.

Not to mention, there have been no studies which show that charcoal is beneficial to your teeth.  The American Dental Association has not given its stamp of approval for this product either.

Overall, this may just be a fad which will pass.  What I will continue to recommend is to use fluoridated toothpaste twice daily, and if you feel the need to whiten, use either whitening toothpaste, over the counter strips, or come into the office for a consultation for in office bleaching.  Peroxide has been proven with countless studies to be effective in removing staining, not to mention it has been proven to be safe. 

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to further delve into this topic with your dentist. 

Happy Holidays!
Dr. Lisel Balk
Adult dentist, Needham