Is Charcoal Toothpaste Bad for Teeth?

Charcoal toothpaste has become a hot trend over the last few years, and people have used activated charcoal to clean their teeth for decades. There is no denying that you can get a whiter smile using charcoal, but those results aren’t as grand as they seem. The truth is, you might be doing more harm than good whitening your teeth with charcoal. Read on to learn how charcoal toothpaste affects your teeth.

Charcoal Toothpaste Can Wear down Your Tooth Enamel

Charcoal powder is an abrasive. It works by scrubbing away the stained surface of the teeth to reveal the brighter enamel below. That enamel doesn’t grow back on its own. It goes away for good.

Some people complain about sensitive teeth after using charcoal toothpaste because the nerves inside their teeth are more exposed. Your enamel is the protective outer layer that keeps all the nerves inside shielded from temperature changes and sharp foods. It’s best to preserve this layer as much as possible.

Many Charcoal Toothpastes Lack Fluoride (Vital for Oral Health)

Fluoride keeps your teeth healthy and strong. Most traditional toothpastes are enriched with fluoride, but charcoal toothpaste tends to lack this key ingredient. You may be able to supplement this with fluoride mouth rinse, but that’s not as effective as using fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride protects teeth against acid and tooth-decaying sugars. It doesn’t rebuild worn enamel, but it can help your teeth fight off decay and staining. You’ll be better off with a fluoride-rich toothpaste than charcoal teeth whitening toothpaste.

Charcoal May Make Your Teeth More Susceptible to Staining

Charcoal may temporarily brighten your smile, but it could also leave it prone to more staining. It’s the same effect as using a Magic Eraser on your kitchen sink. It removes the surface stains, but it leaves the layers below exposed to dark liquids. In the end, you have to clean even more because of the repetitive cycle of staining.

It’s also important to remember that there is dark dentin underneath your tooth enamel. This can make your teeth look discolored, even if the enamel itself is stain-free. It’s a double edge sword that’s best avoided when possible.

A Safer Alternative to Charcoal Toothpaste

Instead of scrubbing stains away with charcoal toothpaste, consider using a fluoride toothpaste and brushing your teeth three times a day. Routine cleaning is just as effective at stain removal, and it keeps your teeth healthy and strong.

You wouldn’t use sandpaper to get a stain off your shirt, so why use an abrasive to get stains off your teeth? Clinton Dental Center offers state-of-the-art teeth whitening solutions that eliminate stains without damaging your enamel. We also have a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right toothpaste.  

If you’d like a teeth whitening consultation or routine oral care from Clinton Dental Center, please call (586) 949-5363 to reach our office.