Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA
Every time you turn around, there seem to be new beauty care or hygiene products on the shelves in stores. Charcoal based products in dental care are all the rage these days, promising to be healthier for your teeth and gums and to whiten your teeth shades brighter. But, are charcoal toothpastes safe, and do they actually work? That’s what Dr. Kathleen Carson of Integrative Dental Arts in Agoura Hills is here to talk about today.
First, let’s talk about the dental health claims of charcoal-activated toothpastes:
- It removes stains from your teeth
Charcoal is known for its detoxifying abilities. It is often used to help detoxify the stomach since it is known to absorb harmful chemicals or other agents that may have been ingested. It also is negatively charged, which means positive charges, such as from toxins, chemicals, gases, and free radicals, will cling to it. This is where the teeth whitening claim comes from, although stain removal isn’t going to produce the same results as an actual teeth whitening treatment. So, if you want to actually whiten your teeth shades brighter, your money would be better spent on a professional teeth whitening treatment.
- It removes acidic plaque and promotes fresh breath
Brushing your teeth with charcoal toothpaste will increase your mouth’s pH level, which helps reduce the amount of acidic plaque buildup on your teeth. This process is done as the charcoal binds to acidic elements in the mouth. Doing so will help improve your breath, which is especially helpful if you struggle with halitosis (bad breath).
- Improves your oral health
Our bodies are packed with millions of microbiome. You may have heard this word used in relation to digestive health, which your mouth is apart of. There are claims stating that charcoal toothpaste helps stabilize the oral microbiome, which means improved oral health.
Now, although there are benefits of using charcoal toothpaste, there are some risks associated with its use.
Charcoal toothpaste can erode your dental enamel
Some charcoal toothpastes are just too abrasive, which means that they could end up causing you harm by eroding your dental enamel. This means you could be more susceptible to tooth sensitivity and tooth decay. If it feels too gritty, don’t use it. Choose one that doesn’t seem as abrasive.
Use it according to the directions on the label
Brush gently using small circular motions as you move your toothbrush along your teeth. Be sure to rinse out your mouth until the water you spit out runs clear. A safer way to use charcoal toothpaste to ensure you don’t erode your enamel is to simply smear some over your teeth and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse well. This way, it still goes to work absorbing acidic plaque but isn’t going to be abrasive since you aren’t rubbing it against your teeth.
Check the list of ingredients
Make sure that the charcoal toothpaste you choose is free of sodium lauryl sulfate, and artificial sweeteners (like saccharin and sucralose).
Don’t use it every day
Using charcoal toothpaste daily could be overdoing it. Instead, aim for about 2-3 days a week to help avoid any negative side effects like dental enamel erosion.
As we have found, there are benefits to using charcoal toothpaste if you choose the right one, and use it in the right way. However, be mindful that overdoing it or choosing one that is abrasive or that contains unhealthy ingredients could be harmful to your teeth. If you would like to learn more oral health tips, just contact Integrative Dental Arts by calling (818) 889-0400. We welcome patients of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village.