How Safe is Charcoal Toothpaste?
Advertisers will tell you that charcoal toothpaste is the answer to whiter teeth, but before abandoning your regular toothpaste for charcoal, do a little research to see if you really want to use it.
JADA, The Journal of the American Dental Association, did extensive research for literature on clinical studies on the use of charcoal and charcoal-based dental cleaners and conducted laboratory investigations on the the bioactivity or toxicity of charcoal toothpaste. Fifty products from Google and Amazon were investigated. They found that results were varied due to the insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal-based tooth cleaning products.
Cosmetic dentists have concerns about the abrasiveness of charcoal in toothpaste which may damage enamel if used regularly, but there has been little research done on it. Charcoal may absorb surface stains caused by coffee, wine, and other staining substances, but it won’t whiten the inside of the tooth. A major lightening of tooth color can only come from professional bleaching treatments that penetrate below the outer surface of teeth.
Charcoal toothpaste can lift away plaque and food particles, but it may lack the fluoride we need to fight dental decay. Charcoal toothpaste fills your mouth with black foam and can be unpleasant to look at as well as making a mess in the sink and on your toothbrush. If you must use it, consider alternating it with your regular toothpaste and keep a separate toothbrush for the charcoal. Talk to your dentist about his or her recommendations.