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The Charcoal Toothpaste Trend

Should You Try It?


Health fads and trends come and go. Remember last year, when half your mates were declaring they were going to change their lives by eating like a caveman on the Paleo diet? Or when that girl at work told you that she was getting ready for summer bikini season by squishing herself into an elastic corset belt because Kim Kardashian does and swears it works?

Fortunately, these kinds of very questionable health trends do tend to die out quickly. Your Paleo eating mate gave that up when he realised that life without meat pies, pizza and a nice big sandwich occasionally was pretty sad. And the waist trainer woman went back to working out at the gym to get a beach bod rather than suffocating herself with Kardashian approved underwear after the third time she passed out at her desk because she couldn't breathe.

Charcoal Toothpaste. Black = White?

©  Emergency Dentist Sydney The Charcoal Toothpaste Trend  meme.jpg

One very questionable 'trend' that is still going strong however is the idea of using charcoal toothpaste to get bright, white teeth. If you haven't tried it (and we hope you haven’t, but we'll get to that in a minute) you've seen it on your Facebook or Instagram feed. Someone with a mouthful of what looks like black tar and a big grin on their face because they can assure you that this rather gross looking toothpaste is going to give you the whitest, brightest smile possible.

If you do a quick Google search, you'll see that everyone and his Aunty is selling their own version of this new 'wonder; toothpaste. Some of it is even mixed with other 'miracle' ingredients like clay, 'minerals' and coconut shells (!??) And none of it's cheap. But it is vegan. So, here's the big question; should you hop on the charcoal toothpaste bandwagon and plonk down your $20 (and up) for a little tube of black gloop? After all, summer's coming and you do want to look your best from head to toe.

The Truth About Charcoal Toothpaste

Permanent enamel loss is common among long time users of charcoal toothpaste.

Permanent enamel loss is common among long time users of charcoal toothpaste.

Now, the idea of using charcoal to clean your teeth is not new, whatever that nice hipster lady on YouTube says in her 'infomercial'. The Ancient Romans used charcoal to clean their teeth over two thousand years ago. But that's not really much of an endorsement, as they also used urine as a mouthwash, washed their faces with gladiator blood to get a clearer complexion and made a habit of vomiting half way through a big meal just so they could eat more. So not exactly the health experts you want to follow, to say the least.

The fact is not only will charcoal toothpaste not make your teeth any whiter, prolonged use will actually destroy them. Activated charcoal is hugely abrasive, so yes, it may get some stains off your teeth, but it will also begin to take the enamel off as well. Once your enamel is gone, you can never get it back. At that point the next 'layer' of the tooth, dentin, will be exposed, and as that has a natural yellow tinge you'll be left with teeth that look yellower than ever before and that are at a much greater risk for decay and damage.

The lesson here is sometimes the boring old ways just work. However uncool it is, a good old-fashioned fluoride toothpaste is still the best way to clean your teeth. And if you are concerned about the colour of your teeth, a professional whitening treatment at your dentist's office won't cost you too much more than that trendy charcoal toothpaste and it'll actually work.

Emergency Dentist Sydney Says:

Should you try it? No. Why use charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth when we already have medical grade, safe, dental board approved products that do that for you and don't destroy your teeth in the process.

Many of the odd health trends out there are pretty harmless, but charcoal toothpaste isn't one of them. It's not worth potentially damaging your teeth for good for the sake of being trendy, so stick to your tried and tested toothpaste and save all that extra cash for something that might actually benefit the appearance of your teeth, like visiting us for a good clean and polish.

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