Charcoal Whitening: Is it safe?

Charcoal whitening has recently made its appearance all over the internet, with a long list of therapeutic claims including teeth whitening, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and oral detoxification. You may have seen the infamous Facebook ad where a woman records a video of her before and after brushing with charcoal activated toothpaste. The end result? Beautiful and white pearly teeth of course. But, does it actually work? And most importantly, is it safe?

The Journal of the American Dental Association completed a literature review (September 2017) on charcoal and charcoal-based toothpastes. The results showed insufficient clinical and laboratory data to support the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal based toothpastes. Charcoal and charcoal activated toothpastes are however, abrasive. It damages the tooth and wears away the enamel, leading to sensitivity. Therefore, it is advised that patients be cautious when using toothpastes containing charcoal or charcoal products given the unproven claims and insufficient data on safety.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have whiter teeth. Talk to your dental team at your next routine visit for your best option. We’re here to help you achieve that perfect smile!


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