People have been using charcoal for teeth cleaning for many years. In fact, it can be traced back to the Romans, and a 19th-century toothpaste recipe contained charcoal powder too.
Charcoal products have risen in popularity again over the decade, and they are particularly trendy in dental care right now. Supporters claim that it can freshen bad breath, whiten teeth, along with many other benefits. But before we go into that, let’s look at what it is exactly:
What Is Charcoal Toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste is a type of toothpaste containing activated charcoal. This is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen at very high temperatures making it more porous, and therefore better able to absorb potentially toxic materials.
The benefits of charcoal toothpaste are:
- It can help to remove stains & whiten teeth
- Some brands contain fluoride
- It combats bad breath
1. It Can Help To Remove Surface Stains
Charcoal is known for having ‘teeth-whitening' properties, which is the main USP for all charcoal toothpastes on the market today.
The reason activated charcoal is able to lighten your teeth is because it's made out of fine, abrasive grains, which removes plaque and stains. It works a lot like baking soda, but this isn't recommended by dentists.
Charcoal toothpaste can be used to help remove the surface stains caused by food and drink, such as red wine, curry, coffee and tea, as well as from smoking cigarettes. These stains can make the teeth look discoloured and yellow, affecting their overall aesthetic appearance.
Activated charcoal adsorbs these extrinsic stains and results in increased overall whitening of teeth. However, activated charcoal toothpaste fails to adsorb intrinsic or internal stains. For this reason, brushing your teeth with charcoal toothpaste should not be regarded as a tooth whitening or bleaching process. Sure, charcoal toothpaste can aid whitening, but the process of professional chemical tooth whitening works by a different mechanism which removes the core stains.
2. Some Brands Contain Fluoride
Some toothpaste brands use fluoride within their charcoal toothpastes, which is a natural mineral used to prevent tooth decay and assist in overall good dental hygiene. Fluoride can also attract strengthening minerals (e.g. calcium) to your mouth. Calcium is super beneficial for repairing tooth damage and keeping our teeth healthy and strong.
Learn more about the benefits of fluoride for our oral hygiene here.
Charcoal Fluoride Toothpaste Tablets
Our new range of fluoride charcoal toothpaste tablet products, are providing an eco-friendly alternative to conventional toothpaste products. These fluoride toothpaste tablets are family-friendly, sustainable, and available in various quantities, including a three month bundle, which contains one bamboo toothbrush and approximately 77g of charcoal fluoride toothpaste tablets.
It is recommended you change your toothbrush every 3 months, so we have bundled together our 3 month toothpaste pack and brush so you can change both at the same time!
3. It Combats Bad Breath
Because the activated charcoal that’s found in charcoal toothpastes attracts things like food particles and plaque, it may help to freshen the breath as a result.
Bad breath is caused by food particles remaining in your mouth which form into a colourless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) and sits on your teeth. If not brushed away properly, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form smelly plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis).
Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce bad odours if not brushed away.
Can I Use Charcoal Toothpaste While Pregnant?
The simple answer is - yes, charcoal toothpaste is safe to use while pregnant. But just like any other regular toothpaste, it must be spat out once you’ve finished brushing. Sodium fluoride, an ingredient found in many toothpastes, is a toxin and shouldn’t be digested. And while consuming a small amount mixed with saliva after brushing isn’t likely to harm you or the baby, (especially in comparison to the risks of gum disease and tooth decay), too much can increase the fluoride levels in your blood, resulting in a painful stomach ache, vomiting, and nausea.
It’s also important to note that charcoal toothpaste may cause constipation. If the charcoal makes its way into your body, it can enter the intestinal tract and harden. In addition to this, you may risk bowel perforation or blockages. Pregnancy hormones cause your digestion to slow down anyway, so constipation may already be a real issue.
Brush Fresh Co. is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our products been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first. For more dental care advice, check out our blog page or get in touch with us here.
Written by Kate, on behalf of Brush Fresh Co - the UK's Dental Experts Providing eco-friendly dental care.