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Charcoal Toothpaste – Black magic?

Charcoal is the new baby in vogue. Activated Charcoal Face packs, charcoal soap and of course charcoal toothpaste. E- Commerce websites have bestselling beauty products that have charcoal. But is it really a black magic that does wonders? Let’s decide.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated carbon or activated charcoal has carbon of small pore size which increases the surface area for absorption. It is made up of coal, coconut shells, peat, bone char or wood. Basically, common charcoal is heated in presence of a gas, as a result pores develop in it which help in trapping the chemicals, and it becomes activated.

How does Active charcoal work?

It works by trapping the chemicals in its pores & prevents absorption.

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Most of the brands claim activated charcoal toothpaste to be effective in Teeth whitening. Activated charcoal may be effective against some surface stains but according to this study, it has no effect on Teeth whitening.

According to a review, “Internet advertisements included unsubstantiated therapeutic claims-such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and oral detoxification, as well as potentially misleading product assertions.”

In another study, the effect of charcoal toothpaste was studied on preventing cavities (Tooth decay) and it was concluded that these toothpaste have no anti-caries potential. In fact, because they don’t have fluoride, and fluoride has proven benefits against tooth decay, it is also claimed that charcoal toothpaste can lead to more tooth decay.

Literature review clearly helps in understanding that the activated charcoal toothpaste is just another marketing gimmick. It may help in removing superficial stains but long term studies are needed to know more benefits.

Side – Effects of using Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

  • It is effective only against surface stains, does not help in teeth whitening as it is not effective against intrinsic stains.
  • It is abrasive, and if used for long time, will cause wear of tooth enamel.
  • Most of the charcoal toothpaste brands do not have fluoride & does not prevent tooth decay.

The final Word

It may be in trend to use the black magical toothpaste but it clearly lacks the long term studies & benefits. It is difficult to say how it is better than the other available toothpaste. It is best recommended to speak to your dentist about the toothpaste best suited for your oral health.