Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? A bright smile is a winning way to greet the world, and has been shown to have a major impact when we’re on a job interview or a first date. No wonder more and more patients visiting our dentist at The Gentle Dentist ask about what they can do to achieve whiter teeth. And indeed, there are numerous products and treatments on the market that promise a more glittering smile.
One entry in this category that our patients ask about is charcoal toothpaste. It seems counterintuitive that a dark-colored substance like charcoal would produce whiter teeth, but that’s the claim that has landed charcoal-containing toothpaste products on the shelves at your grocery store and pharmacy. It’s become popular among people seeking a “natural” ingredient in a whitening product.
Charcoal toothpastes act as abrasives, meaning they are intended to scrape the stains off your teeth or even prevent those stains from occurring. But with repeated use, that abrasiveness also has the potential of wearing away the hard outer shell of the teeth called the enamel, as well as being hard on the gums. Another potential drawback: Some charcoal toothpastes may not contain fluoride, which fights tooth decay and strengthens enamel.
When choosing a toothpaste, our dentist recommends looking for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Currently, there are no brands containing charcoal that have received that seal. And of course, always select a brand that contains fluoride, that tooth-strengthening mineral that’s found in most public water supplies but is still beneficial when applied by our dentist or your toothbrush.
If you are in search of a brighter, whiter smile, come in and talk to our friendly dentist at The Gentle Dentist. We have safe, effective whitening treatments to recommend here in our office or on your own at home. Please contact us today for an appointment!
By The Gentle Dentist
September 28, 2022