Charcoal is a new trend that seems to be everywhere. It is appearing in a variety of products for skin care and hair care and is gaining popularity in toothpastes and chewing gum. Some internet advertisements for charcoal products include unsubstantiated therapeutic claims about charcoal’s perceived antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, as well as purported oral detoxification and whitening benefits.
Charcoal is a naturally occurring mineral. However being “natural” does not mean it is safe and healthy for your teeth and mouth. Charcoal is an abrasive mineral that can actually damage tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity and enamel erosion. Additionally, some charcoal contains bentonite clay, a mineral in which silica, a known human carcinogen, can be found.
There have been numerous studies conducted on charcoal-based dental products. Studies from MEDLINE and Scopus databases for clinical studies, for example, found insufficient scientific evidence to substantiate claims of charcoal’s dental health benefits.
Despite the lack of evidence to support the health benefits of charcoal, there are proven, safe, and effective ways you can keep your mouth, teeth, and body healthy. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristle tooth brush, preferably an electric toothbrush. We at Complete Health Dentistry recommend Oral-B or Sonicare electric toothbrushes. Floss once a day with traditional dental floss. Rinse with a topical fluoridated mouth rinse. Lastly, see your dentist twice a year for dental exams and professional cleanings.
If you want to whiten and brighten your smile, professional tooth whitening is a safe and effective way to accomplish the results you want. At Complete Health Dentistry, we use an outstanding take-home whitening product for which our dental team will instruct you in its use. Our patients have reported excellent results.
Chewing gum can be beneficial IF you choose a gum containing xylitol. Xylitol is actually anticariogenic, meaning that it inhibits the production of cavities. Chewing xylitol gum after eating or in between brushing is a good thing to do. The chewing stimulates salivary flow, which neutralizes the ph of the mouth, and the chewing gum mechanically removes debris in the grooves of the teeth.
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment. We would love to be your partners in complete dental health.