Charcoal is flavorless, odorless, and composed of carbon and ash. For centuries, people have used charcoal in water filters and as cleaning agents. Charcoal is “activated” when exposed to high temperatures and certain gases. PSA: Do not attempt to make activated charcoal at home!
Charcoal has been used for centuries to treat various disorders as well as for water filtration. Activated charcoal is commonly used to treat poisoning or overdoses in the emergency room. From various health and wellness specialties, charcoal has received a nod for being detoxifying to the body.
Things to Keep in Mind about Charcoal Dental Products:
- Charcoal abrades enamel (aka: the outer white layer of tooth structure)
- Teeth will appear darker with long term use
- It can cause sensitivity due to thinning enamel
- It is possible for charcoal to get lodged around the margins of fillings, creating an unaesthetic appearance
- Many of these toothpastes do not contain fluoride
- No charcoal toothpastes are approved by the ADA
It is for these reasons that I cannot recommend the use of charcoal products. There are far superior methods of whitening teeth that will not cause damage to the dental enamel, and if a whiter smile is your goal, speak with your dentist about what options he or she recommends. If you wish to “detoxify” your mouth, use a tongue scraper and/or a microbial mouth rinse to help give yourself fresher breath. Click here or here for further references on charcoal toothpaste.