It’s the latest oral health and hygiene fad to sweep the world. Not to mention, one that’s impressively divided the public right down the middle. Even if you haven’t yet tried black toothpaste for yourself, chances are you’re aware of its existence. It’s all over the place right now, having originally emerged from just a couple of select manufacturers and since spread like wildfire. Coming in at all manner of different price ranges, millions of tubes of the stuff are being sold all over the world every day.
The obvious question of course being – what’s the big deal?
Put simply, those behind black toothpaste would have us believe that it has quite remarkable properties in terms of oral health. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, black toothpaste is apparently a uniquely effective whitening toothpaste.
As you probably know, these are the kinds of claims we always take with a rather large pinch of salt. And we recommend that everyone else out there does likewise. But before writing off black toothpaste entirely, it is at least worth considering what it is you’re looking at and whether it has any genuinely beneficial properties whatsoever.
One of the many natural substances we’re hearing a lot about these days in terms of supposed medical properties is activated charcoal. It’s been known for some time that activated charcoal has the potential to be an effective treatment for poisoning, not to mention a wide variety of digestive issues. It has also been linked with hangover prevention, lowering cholesterol levels, helping with weight loss and a wide variety of skin and body beauty benefits.
Nevertheless, we’re now been told that it can also do a great job in terms of teeth whitening.
Which is precisely why it is making its way into a wide variety of products, which are causing quite a stir in certain circles. The only problem being that as they are relatively new, there’s very little evidence to suggest that they actually perform as well as their respective manufacturers preach. Which is pretty much the same as with the vast majority of teeth whitening toothpastes and supplementary products in general.
When it comes to whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes and similar everyday oral health and hygiene products, it’s important to have realistic expectations. The problem being that far too many people assume that whitening toothpaste works in the same way as the kinds of whitening kits the world has become borderline dependent on. In reality, this isn’t the case at all.
When you use a whitening kit, a powerful chemical gel or similar substance is applied to the teeth and held in place for a given period of time. The process works by way of opening the pores on the surface of the teeth, in order to allow the cleaning agents within the substance to penetrate deeply and removes stains. Which is precisely why even teeth that have been yellow and discoloured for many years can be effectively treated using a whitening kit.
By contrast, whitening toothpastes do not work in the same way at all. There are two reasons why it is fundamentally impossible for an everyday toothpaste to be as effective as a whitening kit. First of all, OTC toothpaste cannot and will not ever contain the relatively harsh blend of chemicals that go into whitening kits. If they did, it would probably only be a matter of days before your mouth was in pieces. Secondly, the toothpaste and mouthwash you use doesn’t come into contact with your teeth for nearly long enough to have the same effect as a whitening kit. Just a couple of minutes in the morning and the same couple of minutes at night aren’t sufficient to allow anything to penetrate deeply enough to make much of a difference whatsoever.
Instead, whitening toothpastes are predominantly about helping prevent surface stains from settling in the first place. They don’t necessarily contribute to the overall whitening of your teeth, but can nonetheless prove effective in terms of stain prevention.
For the time being at least, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that black toothpaste which contains activated charcoal works any differently. It may be impressively effective in terms of stain prevention, but it isn’t going to make any difference whatsoever in terms of longstanding discolouration and deeper stains. If you really want to make a noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth, you need to think about the more intensive whitening options available.
That said, there are some black toothpastes on the market these days that contain a special ingredient with a very slight blue tint. This works by influencing light reflection when it hits the surface of the teeth, which means that immediately after use the teeth temporarily look at least a little whiter and brighter. Nevertheless, this is purely cosmetic and temporary in nature, therefore cannot be considered an effective whitening agent.
Keep It Simple
When you think about it, it’s actually quite incredible as to the lengths to which people are willing to go these days for whiter teeth. Activated charcoal toothpaste isn’t backed by a great deal of scientific evidence whatsoever. Nevertheless, it is making a lot of manufacturers a lot of money on a global basis. People instinctively flock to these kinds of products, having been told by anyone and everyone that they can help whiten teeth.
All well and good, but haven’t we already got everything we need to whiten teeth and so much more besides?
These days, a decent DIY whitening kit will set you back no more than around £20. You can expect impressive results as standard, after which it is simply a case of maintaining a decent stain prevention regime for as long as required. In doing so, you whiten your teeth for next to nothing and keep them white – a pretty simple solution.
So next time you find yourself pondering the effectiveness or otherwise of these kinds of fad products, there’s one question even more important than that of whether or not it works:
Do I actually need it?