Do Charcoal Products Benefit Your Teeth?

The Latest Trend in Cosmetics

The demand for charcoal products has skyrocketed over the past year in the realm of cosmetic treatments. In spite of that, widespread popularity calls for a number of skeptical consumers questioning charcoal’s true benefits.

Experienced dentists know the importance of progressive products and changing techniques in the field. That’s why it’s necessary to know what products you’re using on your teeth and how it’ll ultimately affect your oral health.

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of charcoal products, and whether you should be applying this latest trend on those healthy, pearly whites.

First Thing’s First–Does it Work?

The type that’s commonly used in cosmetic products and toothpaste is activated charcoal. It’s a loose grain powder composed of coal, wood, and other natural substances that are oxidized under high temperatures. 

When combined with a gas or activating agent, the extreme heat transforms these elements into activated charcoal. It’s a highly absorbent, effective product that has been adopted medically to soak up and remove toxins. 

However, there’s little scientific evidence that supports charcoal’s health claims besides its limited protection against tooth decay. In fact, a 2017 review advised dentists and patients to be cautious when using charcoal toothpaste for everyday use.

Pros: The Upsides of Using Charcoal 

There are few recognized benefits of charcoal tooth products, including:

  • It may remove surface stains
  • It may improve bad breath
  • It may help prevent staining when used after a professional cleaning

Dentists provide a professional cleaning during regular check-ups and oral examinations. Most healthcare providers recommend scheduling a routine visit to your dentist at least once every six months, or twice a year.

Cons: The Downsides of Using Charcoal

With that being said, with advantages come a few disadvantages. The downside of charcoal products are:

  • It may wear down tooth enamel
  • It may make teeth appear yellow
  • It may not remove stains below the enamel
  • It may cause tooth sensitivity 
  • It may stain older teeth and dental restorations

The components of charcoal are incredibly abrasive on the tooth’s surface, and can result in damaging effects on your smile. Plus, most brands typically don’t contain fluoride in their charcoal products, an ingredient that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Alternative Teeth Whitening Options

There are multiple teeth whitening options available that provide similar benefits of charcoal products minus the damage. Here are a few alternatives to try:

  1. Whitening toothpaste that gently removes extrinsic and intrinsic surface stains–brands like Colgate and Tom’s of Maine are both safe and effective
  2. Whitening strips that whiten quickly and provide near-professional results with enamel-safe ingredients–Crest, Lumist, and Sparkling White are top-selling brands
  3. In-office whitening is one of the fastest, most effective treatments provided at your dentist’s office, leaving your teeth several shades lighter
  4. At-home whitening kits are custom trays provided by your dentist, which allow you to brighten your smile in the convenience of your own home

Well-rounded dentists offer their patients with both in-office and at-home whitening treatments to keep their smiles bright and beautiful. These treatments provide almost immediate results that patients can trust.

With all factors considered, the drawbacks of charcoal products seem to considerably outweigh the perks of this latest trend. Without concrete evidence, it’s difficult to draw a feasible verdict on whether or not charcoal products should be used on your teeth. 

If you decide to use charcoal, remember to use it sparingly and in conjunction with a safe, non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. It’s important not to substitute your regular oral hygiene routine for charcoal products, as it may have damaging effects on your smile.