Is the charcoal toothpaste safe?

December 18, 2019

Activated charcoal is a growing trend worldwide. We find the substance in facepacks tablets and even in toothpaste. But is it safe to use activated charcoal in toothpaste? Let us know more about charcoal and its benefits and side effects.

Know more about activated charcoal

Charcoal toothpasteActivated charcoal is basically a fine black powder made from coconut shells, cone char, peat, petroleum coke, olive pits or sawdust.

It is totally different from regular charcoal used as a fuel.

The charcoal’s porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which helps it to attract positively charged molecules, like gases and toxins.

Activated Charcoal is not absorbed in the body, it can, therefore, carry toxins and chemicals in the gut.

Things to consider before trying charcoal toothpaste

Before you use it, make sure that the powder is extra fine and it is not too harsh on your teeth. Also, you should definitely not use it on a daily basis. Dentists recommend to use charcoal once a month only.

However, everyone’s mouth is different. Hence, the dentist should customize the instructions for each patient.

Charcoal toothpaste for smokers

Charcoal toothpaste is usually prescribed to smokers as abrasives in the toothpaste might be able to remove the minute stains on the teeth. But again charcoal toothpaste is not recommended to use on a daily basis.

Benefits of Activated charcoal

  1. The activated charcoal has Detoxifying powers. Activated charcoal binds to the chemicals and toxins and prevents the stomach to absorb harmful substances.
  2. Charcoal toothpaste whitens the teeth. It removes extrinsic stains like wine, coffee, and berries and gives your teeth a bright shine.
  3. It also removes acidic plaque and gives a fresh breath.

If your Charcoal toothpaste is too abrasive, it will wear down your enamel, and can eventually cause permanent damage.

The article in the Journal of the American Dental Association mentioned that there are insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.

Precautions for using charcoal toothpaste

  1. The American dental association recommends choosing toothpaste with a relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) Level of 250 or less.  
  2. You should use this toothpaste for a short period of time. You can also use a fluoridated toothpaste with it alternately.
  3. To reduce the abrasiveness, try using your finger to rub charcoal on your teeth instead of using a toothbrush.
  4. DO consult your dentist to select the right toothpaste for you.

In short, if you get proper information and guidance from your dentist you can certainly use charcoal toothpaste for a whiter and brighter smile.


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Author Bio: Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dental Surgeon at DentalDost. A recipient of the Pierre Fauchard International Merit Award, she is a holistic dentist who believes that everyone should have access to oral healthcare, irrespective of class and geography. She strongly believes that tele-dentistry is the way to achieve that. Dr. Vidhi has also spoken at various dental colleges, addressing the dental fraternity about dental services and innovations. She is a keen researcher and has published various papers on recent advances in dentistry.

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