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24 / 05 / 2019

Do Charcoal Toothpastes Work, And Could They Damage Your Teeth?

An Ipswich Dentist Reviews The Effectiveness Of Charcoal Toothpastes

The team at Lighthouse Dental Practice have been reviewing various ways of maintaining the health of patients’ teeth and discussing different options, including what does and doesn’t work.

The use of charcoal toothpaste is one option but is it actually effective and are there any downsides?

When it comes to effective oral hygiene, thorough brushing, a balanced diet, and regular check-ups with the dentists at our Ipswich practice may well be the best ways of keeping a healthy bright smile, but the toothpaste used can also help.

This blog post is going to examine the effectiveness of these toothpastes and whether they can damage the health and strength of teeth over time.

What Is Charcoal Toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste is an increasingly popular type of toothpaste being favoured by patients for the apparent cleaning properties of activated charcoal. Used in many water filters, activated charcoal is a type of carbon that has porous particles on the surface. This is thought to bind elements (such as tartar, staining, and bacteria) to it when used to brush teeth.

How Are These Toothpastes Different To Regular Toothpastes?

The activated charcoal is the main differentiator between charcoal toothpastes and regular toothpastes. There have also been claims made in the past that these types of toothpaste work mainly by abrasive methods, and that the abrasion caused by activated charcoal could damage teeth, rather than strengthen them, over time.

Why Use It Instead Of Regular Toothpaste?

This specialised toothpaste is a popular and on-trend option, and much has been written about it in fashion magazines as a must-try toothpaste. Although it may contribute to healthier-looking teeth, the main element to look for in any toothpaste is fluoride. This is an ingredient that is included in most good toothpastes and helps to prevent tooth decay.

Are There Any Potential Risks From Using It?

These toothpastes work mainly by abrasion, which may contribute to removing enamel and weakening the strength of teeth over time. When tooth enamel is removed, this can also highlight dentin, the softer yellow tissue beneath a tooth surface. Without enamel, teeth are more sensitive. So brushing with an abrasion-based option such as charcoal-activated toothpaste over a long period of time may actually cause more harm than good.

How Should You Use Charcoal Activated Toothpaste?

If a patient is keen to use charcoal-activated toothpaste, our Ipswich dentists may recommend using it every other week rather than every day, although we would be cautious about using this kind of toothpaste at all. These toothpastes may be an attractive option to some patients, although a recent report published in the British Dental Journal suggested that many do not contain fluoride, an essential part of the battle against tooth decay.

Do They Actually Help To Whiten Teeth?

The report in the British Dental Journal also highlighted that the vast majority of the charcoal toothpastes examined in their research claimed to have tooth-whitening properties, although there was no actual evidence to back this up. Because of the active abrasion utilised by activated charcoal toothpaste, it may be that certain surface staining is removed. This is not the same as whitening teeth, and our Ipswich dental team can advise on appropriate, tested methods for tooth whitening.

Can These Toothpastes Damage Tooth Health Over Time?

Some patients might be concerned over the potential damage that charcoal toothpastes could cause to their tooth health over time. It is important to point out that the report in the British Dental Journal highlighted potential risks from the consistent use of this sort of toothpaste. These toothpastes can possibly also include carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon, a group of chemicals also found in coal, petrol and crude oil.

What Are The Best Ways To Keep Teeth Healthy And White?

Our dentists recommend a number of simple and easy ways to maintain healthy, white, strong teeth and we are on hand to advise. A balanced diet, fluoride toothpaste, regular examinations at our dental practice and good care at home, are the most effective ways to maintain a good level of oral hygiene, as well as protecting your teeth, enamel and dentin.

We can advise on how to monitor your dental health at home in between visiting our dentists in Ipswich, so you feel more confident about your teeth.

What Are The Best Toothpastes To Use For Good Overall Dental Health?

The range of toothpastes available today can seem bewildering, and if you are unsure which ones are the best for you, simply ask when you visit us. Whilst charcoal-activated toothpastes have been given much attention in recent months in the press, our advice would always be to speak to your dentist about any concerns or issues regarding your teeth.

Good oral hygiene is about more than simply having white teeth, and our team of experienced dentists can advise you on all the various factors to consider.

To read other blog posts our team has written on dental health and oral hygiene, please visit here.

To find out more about how Lighthouse Dental Practice can help you maintain healthier teeth, please ring 01473 257 379 and mention this blog post.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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