Most people in Newport Beach have noticed the number of kinds of toothpaste on the market that contain charcoal. Many of these brands are touted by social media influencers as the best option for whitening teeth, often with some very dramatic reels and images of brushing with pitch-black toothpaste.
While these popular social media personalities may be promoting charcoal toothpaste as the latest and best for home teeth whitening solutions, these products are potentially damaging your teeth.
The History of Charcoal in Dental Cleaning
It is reported that ancient Romans used charcoal as part of their dental care routine, and it was also used in the eighteenth century in England as a dental scrub. In parts of the world where commercial toothpaste is not available, it is still used as a way to remove surface material from the teeth.
Charcoal is Abrasive
One of the reasons charcoal was historically used as a teeth whitening option is that it is naturally abrasive. It is very gritty and rough, and it does remove plaque and buildup off the surface of the teeth, leaving them looking whiter as the film is removed from the surface.
Unfortunately, the grit also removes thin layers of enamel, which gives the teeth their natural white and bright look. With repeated use, the charcoal removes this layer, exposing the dentin under the enamel. Dentin is naturally cream to a soft yellow color, which is the opposite effect wanted with teeth whitening.
If you are considering using any type of over-the-counter or “natural” options for whitening your teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist before starting use. Your dentist can advise of any possible risks and help you find a safe, healthy solution for your teeth.
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