Activated charcoal has become a trendy new ingredient in personal hygiene and cosmetic products. But, is activated charcoal good for teeth and healthier than traditional toothpaste? Some people sure think so. We will discuss in detail what leading dentists have to say and what exactly activated charcoal is.
Activated charcoal is used to absorb poison that has been ingested in the body. It is particularly this quality that makes charcoal an intriguing possibility when it comes to your teeth. But does it really work?
Because charcoal is so absorbent, it can be effective for removing surface stains from your teeth. However, charcoal has not been proven effective at removing the stains that occur below the tooth’s enamel, and there is no evidence to suggest that it has a natural whitening effect.
Products that advertise tooth-whitening work both on superficial stains and those beneath the surface. These contain products like fluoride and peroxide. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel which is the white part of your tooth. Peroxide is what actually bleaches stains away. So, while there may be some merit to the notion that charcoal is a good toothpaste, it may not be the best toothpaste.
What do dentists say?
Many dentists tend to be skeptical of holistic remedies. The issue with charcoal is that it’s very abrasive, too abrasive to be the preferred toothpaste. In fact, brushing with charcoal can remove the enamel from your teeth, actually causing them to yellow. So, while charcoal may provide temporary teeth whitening, on a long enough timescale, it will actually cause your teeth to yellow.
The whiteness of your teeth is the result of enamel. When the enamel wears off, as it often does for those of advanced years, the teeth begin to yellow. Since charcoal is an abrasive, this is the most likely outcome of using it for years.
Chemicals like peroxide (which bleaches stains) and fluoride (which strengthens enamel) are better products for teeth whitening.
What is charcoal good for?
There is ample evidence to suggest that charcoal may be effective against bad breath. Charcoal is used as a natural deodorant and because the compound is so absorbent, it can absorb sulfur compounds in the mouth that lead to halitosis. However, using charcoal in this manner does not involve brushing your teeth with it. Lastly, the long-term health effects of daily charcoal use are unknown, so be careful!
Natural remedies are marketed to those who have phobias related to certain chemicals. Natural, however, doesn’t necessarily mean “better.” In many cases, our chemical compounds are derived from natural ingredients that have been refined by years of knowledge and study to work exceptionally for a specific purpose. Hence why fluoride and peroxide are found in tooth-whitening pastes and other remedies.
Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today
For more tips on beating halitosis or removing tooth stains, call the Flagstaff, AZ dentists at Peak Family Dental Care today to schedule your first appointment!