The Truth About Charcoal Toothpaste By Ben Hayes on November 16, 2021

Though not as popular as it once was, activated charcoal is still a prevalent health fad. It’s found its way into supplements, hair products, and even toothpaste. However before jumping in headfirst it is best to understand what charcoal toothpaste can and cannot do for you. We’ll cover what you need to know about charcoal toothpaste in today’s post!

What is Charcoal Toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste is a type of toothpaste that includes activated charcoal, a very porous form of carbon. These pores draw in and absorb particles that are later rinsed out with the charcoal. It has been touted to bind to and remove bacteria, stains, and tartar, as well as been marketed as a teeth whitener and breath freshener. 

Debunking Claims About Charcoal Toothpaste

Claim: Charcoal Toothpaste Freshens Breath

Though it does have a tendency to attract food particles and plaque, normal toothpaste also has the ability to do this and there is no significant evidence that it freshens breath or cleans better than traditional toothpaste.

Claim: Charcoal Toothpaste Removes Stains/Whitens Teeth 

Due to its increased abrasiveness it may have the ability to remove extrinsic stains (stains on the surface of the teeth, above the enamel layer.) However using highly abrasive toothpaste can actually remove enamel and expose the more yellow dentin underneath in the long run.

Claim: Charcoal Toothpaste “Detoxifies” The Mouth

Though marketers love to tout this sort of language in their ads, activated charcoal does not “detoxify” the mouth in any way. It doesn’t remove “toxins” from the body. The gum and teeth, unlike your kidneys and liver, have no detoxifying effect on the body whatsoever. (Though periodontal disease and oral infection can create illnesses in other places in the body through the spread of bacteria.)

Cons to Charcoal Toothpaste

1: There is insufficient data to back up its safety and efficacy claims.

A 2017 study found that “The results of this literature review showed insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.” and that “Dental clinicians should advise their patients to be cautious when using charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.”

2: It is too abrasive for daily use.

As mentioned earlier its highly abrasive qualities which allow it to remove stains also make it ill-suited for daily use. Regular use can wear down enamel and expose the dentin underneath. This can cause teeth to appear more yellow and also make teeth more sensitive. 

3: There is typically no fluoride in these toothpastes.

Fluoride is proven to strengthen and protect the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is incredibly important in protecting against decay and cavities, and ensuring it’s long term health is critical to a proper dental care regimen. 

4: Charcoal toothpaste may actually cause stains.

Though it can remove certain stains, it can build up in crevices or nooks and actually cause the teeth to have a greyish hue. Trading old stains for new ones with potentially unfavorable results.

5: It can significantly affect dental restorations.

Charcoal toothpaste can have a negative effect on dental restorations including crowns, bridges, veneers, fillings, and the All-on-4®. Charcoal particles can scrape and accumulate in and around restorations, leaving an unattractive black or gray outline.

So should you use charcoal toothpaste? Given existing evidence and lack of information probably not. This is not to say using it once or rarely will necessarily have a negative effect. If you enjoy using it occasionally there is no issue with that, just know that it will probably not give you the snow white smile you see in the commercials! If you are looking to whiten or brighten up your smile, contact one of our experts today! 

Stubbs Dental Implant Team

Stubbs Dental Implant Center

Your smile is one of your greatest assets. Give it the dental care it deserves to stay beautiful and healthy for years to come. At Stubbs Dental Implant Center, our dentists have the training, technology, and services to treat your entire family's needs in one office. Our dentists are some of the most awarded in Utah, and their accomplishments include:  

  • Best of Salt City: Best Dentist, Best Cosmetic Dentist, Best Oral Suregon, Best Surgery Center 2022
  • Best of SLC: Best Dentist 2022
  • Best of SLC: Best Employer For Veterans 2022
  • City Weekly's: Best Company That Gives Back 2021
  • Best of Northern Utah: 2022, 2021, & 2020
  • Gephardt Approved
  • + Many More

Get In Touch Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 3387 Orchard Dr  Bountiful, UT

Bountiful Office

3387 Orchard Dr
Bountiful, UT 84010

Closed Today

Google map image of our location in 5872 S 900 E Ste 202 Murray, UT

Murray Office

5872 S 900 E
Ste 202
Murray, UT 84121

Closed Today

Google map image of our location in 1916 N 700 W Ste 100 Layton, UT

Layton Office

1916 N 700 W
Ste 100
Layton, UT 84041

Closed Today

Google map image of our location in 3082 W Maple Loop Dr Ste 175 Lehi, UT

Lehi Office

3082 W Maple Loop Dr
Ste 175
Lehi, UT 84043

Closed Today

(801) 305-4051 Send a message