Lately, using charcoal toothpaste has been a trending theme in the world of DIY beauty tips. Chances are that you’ve seen posts on social media sites on using activated charcoal for facial masks, as a supplement or even as a replacement for your regular toothpaste.
The recent popularity of charcoal comes from the fact that is an excellent detoxification agent and works great for whitening your teeth. However, there are proponents on both sides of the fence on the topic. Therefore, your Carlsbad dentist came up with this quick guide that explains the risks associated with using charcoal toothpaste.
The So-Called "Pros" of Charcoal Toothpaste
Using charcoal toothpaste has become a trend due to many people who’ve tried it and claim that it is effective at whitening their smiles. However, there have been no specific studies or measures to see exactly how effective it is or how long it takes to get a visibly whiter smile. Furthermore, many have claimed that it also works to kill harmful bacteria that is often present in our mouths and is a great alternative for people who are hesitant to use bleaching products to achieve a brighter smile.
The Cons of Charcoal Toothpaste
Although charcoal is effective at detoxifying and cleaning the body of free-radicals, it is most effective when administered by a healthcare professional. This is because you risk swallowing the substance which could potentially lead to an overdose, as well as some of the following side effects:
- Constipation – In addition to a discolored tongue and darker stools, long-term use of charcoal may lead to constipation and blockages in the intestinal tract.
- Absorption – Although charcoal has many beneficial aspects to it, it can bind with and absorb other nutrients or medications that a person may be taking.
- Abrasion – Charcoal is an abrasive and extended use of the substance can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth and your gum tissue.
- Lack of Fluoride – Regular toothpaste contains fluoride which helps fight and prevent tooth decay. Charcoal toothpaste does not contain this essential element and won’t protect your teeth as well as traditional toothpaste.
- Other effects – Many who swear by charcoal toothpaste for whitening their smile still report having to use traditional toothpaste to rinse away the black residue and freshen their breath.
- The Unknowns – Over the years, there haven’t been very many studies undertaken on the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste. Therefore, there are still many unknowns in terms of both the long and short-term effects of using it.
In the end, the effectiveness of using charcoal toothpaste has not yet been thoroughly tested and is not an advisable approach to whitening your teeth. If you're looking for a brighter, whiter smile, contact your Carlsbad dentist to schedule a consultation and we can help you! Call our office today at (760) 454-1422.