One of the latest fads to hit the oral health and hygiene market in the UK, charcoal toothpaste is everywhere. And not only is it everywhere, it’s selling like hot cakes. Despite typically costing more than twice as much as a comparable tube of regular paste, charcoal toothpaste has proved quite the hit.
Even if you haven’t used the stuff yet, you’ve probably heard about it. Celebrity endorsements, social media influencers – everyone’s hyping this stuff as the next big thing. Or at least, everyone except those you can trust to tell you the absolute truth about charcoal toothpaste and its properties.
If you really want to know if and how it gets the job done, you need to ask the experts.
So to help clarify some of the confusion, we thought we’d share a basic FAQ. Detailed below, you’ll find the most commonly asked questions on the subject of charcoal toothpaste, along with their respective answers:
Question 1: What is Charcoal Toothpaste?
As the name suggests, charcoal toothpaste is a specialist type of toothpaste that contains activated charcoal. Activated charcoal differs from regular charcoal in that it has been processed to produce millions of microscopic pores. In a health and hygiene setting, advocates believe that the presence of so many pores enables the product to absorb bacteria, tartar, stains and general nastiness. In the case of charcoal toothpaste therefore, it’s an all-round solution for providing a whole-mouth clean, while at the same time contributing to a whiter smile. When used in conjunction with a dentist-recommended electric toothbrush, it’s claimed that charcoal toothpaste can make a noticeable difference within weeks.
Question 2: Is Activated Charcoal Safe to Use?
If there’s one thing we know for sure about activated charcoal, it’s this…activated charcoal is safe to use. One of the most heavily researched products of its kind, activated charcoal has been used in healthcare settings for more than 2000 years. In centuries gone by, charcoal in its raw form was used as a rudimentary form of toothpaste. Not to mention, an important medicine in the treatment of countless conditions. The potential benefits of activated charcoal may have been exaggerated over the years. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that activated charcoal is a non-toxic ingredient that is perfectly safe to use in toothpaste form.
Question 3: Does Charcoal Toothpaste Whiten Teeth?
This is where things get a little cloudy. As far as advocates are concerned – including those who manufacture the stuff – charcoal toothpaste is an effective whitening toothpaste. As mentioned above, they claim that the presence of millions of pores gets to work on the stains and discolouration that would otherwise be left behind. In reality however, there’s no specific evidence to suggest that this is the case. While it’s possible for charcoal toothpaste to eliminate somesurface stains and enhance stain-prevention, it isn’t going to do anything for deeper-set stains and discolouration. Once again, it’s the classic case of things being somewhat exaggerated for sales or marketing purposes. If it’s white teeth you’re chasing, you’ll still need a high-quality teeth-whitening kit.
Question 4: Does Charcoal Toothpaste Provide a Better Clean?
It’s the same story with this debate too, though tipped more in favour of charcoal toothpaste. Once again, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that charcoal toothpaste provides a better clean. There’s every chance that it might, but insufficient research has so far been carried out to establish whether or not this is the case. In terms of anecdotal evidence however, charcoal toothpaste has gained a strong and loyal following worldwide. The vast majority of those trying charcoal toothpaste stating that their mouths felt significantly clean and fresher than when using generic toothpaste. If this is the case, this would suggest that the pores in the activated charcoal are doing their business.
Question 5: Is it Worth the Price?
Unsurprisingly, price tends to be the sticking point for those who aren’t quite so convinced. While exceptions to the rule apply, charcoal toothpaste has a tendency to cost exponentially more than standard toothpaste. The higher price being justified by the apparent ‘quality’ of the ingredients and the fact that charcoal toothpaste is still a comparatively rare commodity. If you genuinely feel cleaner and fresher after using charcoal toothpaste, the price might not seem quite so steep. If it doesn’t make any real difference, it’s a price not worth paying. Particularly at the higher end of the market, there are a handful of charcoal toothpastes that are overpriced simply for the sake of it. Few of which carry any official dentist recommendations.
Question 6: Should You Try Charcoal Toothpaste?
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth giving charcoal toothpaste a try. To make things easier, think carefully about what exactly you expect to get out of the deal. If you’re thinking about using charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth, you might want to think twice. For the time being at least, there’s no evidence to suggest that charcoal toothpaste is any better whitening teeth than any other whitening paste. If you’re genuinely happy with the quality of your current paste and have no specific oral health complaints, why shake things up with something new? Especially when the ‘something new’ in question costs twice as much as your current paste. As is always the case with such things, it’s worth speaking to your dentist and asking for their professional recommendation. If they’re unwilling to give their backing to charcoal toothpaste, it’s probably for a good reason!
Temporary fads come and go, but the most important standards are timeless. Quality fluoride toothpastes, dentist-recommended mouthwashes, daily flossing, regular check-ups and so on. It’s hard not to buy into these facts when they hit their stride, but it’s worth considering who never gets swept away by any such fads:
Even with all the celebrity and social media endorsements in the world, it’s your dentist who knows best. So unless he or she recommends charcoal toothpaste, you’re probably just as well sticking with whatever you’re using right now!