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Despite the bold claims surrounding charcoal toothpaste, most dentists find the accuracy of these assertions to be rather ambiguous. What’s the underlying theory behind incorporating activated charcoal into your toothpaste?

Charcoal, in its natural state, is highly porous. When exposed to oxidizing gases or chemicals at elevated temperatures, the internal structure of charcoal becomes even more porous. This characteristic allows “activated” charcoal to absorb chemicals, making it a recognized treatment for specific poisons. Advocates of charcoal toothpaste contend that this unique porosity enables the toothpaste to gather toxins, bacteria, and debris from the tooth surface, promoting oral health, fresh breath, and a brighter smile.

Sounds promising! Should I give it a try?

Perhaps not just yet.

Claims that charcoal toothpaste outperforms other over-the-counter whiteners in teeth whitening are challenging to substantiate. Even with the best charcoal product, you’re essentially achieving a superficial cleaning. Charcoal toothpaste can only remove surface stains from the enamel, making it less effective than professional whitening treatments. It’s abrasive. Aggressive pastes and brushing techniques may potentially lead to enamel thinning. Thinner enamel exposes more of the darker dentin underneath, giving the appearance of a yellowish smile. Abrasive pastes may also be bothersome for individuals with sensitive or compromised gum tissue. Ideally, your toothpaste should never be abrasive enough to cause harm to your teeth or gums. Relying solely on charcoal toothpaste may not provide sufficient fluoride to safeguard your teeth. It’s crucial to recognize that no toothpaste can replace the necessity of regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups at our Boca Raton office. If you’ve come across images of charcoal enthusiasts with soot-covered smiles and teeth, you’re aware that brushing with charcoal toothpaste can be a messy process. Extra care may be required to thoroughly clean your mouth, teeth, tongue, and, of course, your sink. If the concept of charcoal toothpaste intrigues you, Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz and our team are more than willing to discuss it further. However, if your goal is teeth whitening, we offer proven methods to achieve optimal results—sans the need for dramatic charcoal selfies!

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