Activated charcoal toothpaste: What is it? And is it safe?

Charcoal activated products are on the rise. The trend reaches from health and beauty products, and now to TOOTHPASTE. Products containing this ingredient claim to remove coffee stains, wine stains, and plaque.

What exactly is activated charcoal?  The popular additive is typically made from either bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust. It is known for its abilities to absorb dirt and impurities.

Is Activated Charcoal Toothpaste for you? This depends upon the individual. Before using any of these toothpastes, these are the factors that one should consider.

While Activated Charcoal has some proven uses, teeth whitening is not one of them. Its effectiveness is only in lifting surface stains, not in eliminating intrinsic or internal discoloration. So it is best for occasional or short term use.

Because of its highly abrasive nature, charcoal activated toothpastes should not be used long term, as they will gradually erode the enamel. When the enamel thins, a darker colored secondary layer of the tooth shines through, giving the teeth a permanent yellow tinting and sensitivity.

Other considerations are that activated charcoal is not appropriate for use in children and woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If ingested, its absorbent properties can interfere with other medications you take, such as hormonal birth control rendering them ineffective.

In summation, charcoal activated toothpaste should only be used in short term cases. Please consult your dentist or hygienist first!

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