Between television, internet, and word-of-mouth, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about activated charcoal toothpastes and their alleged ability to help whiten your teeth. Since having a bright, white smile is always attractive, you may have considered one of these toothpastes to see if it lives up to its claims. However, claims that are produced for advertising purposes are not the same as credible advice from your dentist, such as Omaha’s expert team at Legacy Dental. Here, we’ll examine what activated charcoal toothpaste contains, substantiate whether or not it truly whitens your teeth, and discuss safe, effective options for teeth whitening.

What Is Activated Charcoal Toothpaste?

Cooking charcoal, which we use to grill food, is made by slow-burning natural materials like wood or peat. Activated charcoal is created for medical purposes by heating regular charcoal in the presence of a gas, which allows the charcoal to become more porous. The porous nature of activated charcoal is why it is used in poison control, because it can quickly and effectively trap toxins.

Why is activated charcoal used as an ingredient in toothpaste? Companies advertise that the porous nature of activated charcoal, along with its slightly gritty texture, can erase stains and buff out imperfections, leaving behind a smooth, pearly-white smile. However, do dental experts agree with the claims these companies are making?

Does Activated Charcoal Whiten Your Teeth?

In a study published by the Journal of Applied Oral Science, several toothpastes were tested in a scientific setting to determine which one was the most effective at stain removal when brushing conditions and initial stain levels were kept constant. Of the 6 groups of toothpaste touting various whitening technologies, the brand using activated charcoal showed no statistically significant gain in tooth whitening performance.

This may sound very different from friends or family members who claim that activated charcoal toothpaste instantly gave them a brighter, whiter smile. The reason for the discrepancy? Sometime people feel compelled to “see” results when they’ve purchased a new, unproven product that aren’t necessarily there. If you’re looking for results that are real, safe, and approved by dental professionals, contact the staff at Legacy Dental to discuss their “Whitening for Life” program.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe for My Teeth?

According to research, the answer is, “no.” A study published by the Journal of the American Dental Association found “insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.” This means that using activated charcoal toothpaste has unknown long-term effects that have yet to be properly researched.

In a study conducted at the Creighton University School of Dentistry investigators evaluated how quickly activated charcoal toothpaste wears away tooth enamel. They found that after prolonged use of activated charcoal toothpaste, the product made its way into the dentin of the teeth, causing them to turn yellow or gray.

What Other Options Exist for Safe Teeth Whitening?

Instead of trying an unproven, and potentially unsafe product for whiter teeth, speak with your dentist to discuss professional teeth whitening options. At Legacy Dental, we utilize Zoom Whitening, a safe and highly-effective method for in-office teeth whitening, and also offer a “Whitening for Life” program, that meets the America Dental Association’s strict guidelines for dentist-dispensed home-use products. Consulting with a dental professional is the only way to safely and effectively whiten your teeth and ensure the long-term health of your enamel.

Activated charcoal toothpastes might be a current buzz-worthy product, but that doesn’t mean that its long-term viability and safety are proven. If you’re looking for professional teeth whitening in Omaha, be sure to contact us today to learn more about our teeth whitening services and how we can help get your pearly whites looking their absolute best.

Come see how our attention to detail and focus on patient comfort makes us different. At Legacy Dental we strive to exceed expectations and improve the lives of our patients.