LEARN ABOUT NEW CHARCOAL DENTAL PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET AND WHY THEY ARE USEFUL
Charcoal is the new kid on the block when it comes to oral health. The main products readily available now include:
- Charcoal toothpastes
- Teeth whiteners
- Mouth washes
- Charcoal infused toothbrushes
Charcoal is even being used in cat and dog toothbrushes and chews to help keep their teeth clean.
EFFICACY OF CHARCOAL PRODUCTS
Aside from their popularity, do charcoal products actually work?
Charcoal has been used traditionally for gut health. It has adsorbent properties, which is very different to absorption. An adsorbent acts a bit like a magnet. It is negatively charged and attracts anything of the opposite charge, which includes toxins and gases.
Its adsorbing abilities are so powerful that charcoal is often used in hospitals for acute poisoning and drug overdoses.
Activated charcoal is the best form to use as it has been heat treated to make it more porous to increase its surface area and enhance it adsorbing properties.
It is thought to have three main benefits for teeth and gums:
- Removing toxins, including teeth-damaging plaque
- Altering pH in the mouth
- Whitening teeth and removing discolouration
Anecdotally, people have reported great results, particularly for teeth whitening. However, there is little concrete research backing up manufacturers’ claims.
One review of current studies found very mixed results and no conclusion could be drawn about the usefulness of charcoal. Of the small number of studies that have been done, some have shown positive benefits, some demonstrated a negative impact and some had no effect at all on dental health.
The best advice is to give it a go and see if it helps you. Do, however, limit its use and consult our dentists at Dental Clinic Parramatta for their advice.
IS CHARCOAL SAFE TO USE?
There have been some concerns that charcoal is too abrasive and that over-use could damage teeth enamel. To avoid this, apply teeth whitening products by smearing on teeth rather than brushing.
Charcoal-infused toothbrushes and mouth washes are generally safe to use.
If you are using any kind of charcoal product for dental health, it’s important to spit out and rinse away as much charcoal as possible. This is mainly because it will contain many toxins and nasties that have been adsorbed from your mouth and you definitely don’t want to be ingesting it.
If you swallowed significant amounts (e.g more than a 1 teaspoon) every day. It can prevent you from absorbing any medications you have taken and can inhibit absorption of minerals from food in the gut.
You could also start to suffer constipation as a result, but this is unlikely.
As there is not enough research done on these products, it’s probably wise to avoid using charcoal-based products for children.
Consult one of dentists in Parramatta if you wish to use a charcoal-based toothpaste for teeth brushing and have any concerns.
HOW TO WHITEN TEETH ON A BUDGET
You don’t actually need fancy charcoal products for your teeth. You can use straight charcoal powder.
Use a good quality activated food-grade charcoal powder, which is generally available from the health food shop.
- Place a small amount in a cup or small bowl
- Add a little water and mix to make a paste
- Smear on teeth using your fingers
- Wait a few minutes and rinse thoroughly.
Charcoal will temporarily blacken teeth and gums but is tasteless and easy to use. You can also keep your charcoal in the medicine cabinet as it’s great to use if suffer any gut infections, such as food poisoning.