Charcoal Toothpaste – Good for your Grin?

Over the last few years, charcoal products have become increasingly popular in the health and wellness industry and are often promoted as a way to whiten your teeth.  Chances are you have seen a recent ad on Facebook or Instagram touting the benefits of brushing with charcoal toothpaste, but are these products all they are cracked up to be?  Here are a few considerations…

  1. Depending on the brand you choose, charcoal toothpaste or powder can be very abrasive, or damaging, to teeth.  Please ensure you are purchasing a product that comes from a reputable company such as Oral Science, Colgate or Crest.  We have recently seen some charcoal powders that have been ordered from Amazon and come complete with many typos on the label!  These are not from a reputable source and are not recommended by our dentist and hygienists as there is no information regarding how abrasive they are.
  1. What is left behind? Both of our hygienists have seen the remnants of charcoal tooth paste left behind under the gumline.  These little particles really seem to stick under the gum tissue and do not dissolve!  This is a concern as anything under the gums could potentially lead to a gingival, or gum, abscess.
  1. Does it include fluoride? Our dentist and hygienists recommend always using a fluoride toothpaste to help remineralize enamel and prevent cavities.  Most of the charcoal toothpastes on the market (especially those marketed as “natural”) do not.  Fluoride has been your best defence against cavities for many years – please make sure your toothpaste includes it!

As long as you are selective when choosing a charcoal toothpaste, there may be no harm in trying it out.  We would definitely recommend discussing brand options with your dentist or hygienist at your next visit prior to making the switch to determine you are purchasing a low abrasivity paste with fluoride.  As always, we love discussing anything dental related and want to help you to make the best choice for your oral health!