Charcoal toothpaste: Is it worth the hype?

The charcoal trend: Testing charcoal toothpaste

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At Dasling Dentistry in Charlotte’s University area, Dr. Kim Anderson says charcoal toothpaste is a topic that has certainly come up among her patients. “Actually I see a lot of patients who are asking about it,” says Dr. Anderson.

This is not the charcoal you’re thinking of at the bottom of your BBQ grill. It is a more refined and purified version that, in an activated form, absorbs toxins.

“The premise in putting it in toothpaste is very similar. To absorb toxins or the stain causing things that can be in our teeth,” says Dr. Anderson.

WBTV's Christine Sperow tries charcoal toothpaste for the first time.
WBTV's Christine Sperow tries charcoal toothpaste for the first time. (Source: Christine Sperow)

That’s where the popularity of this trend has grown. Products will claim that it helps remove stains to, in turn, achieve a whiter smile. “There isn’t a whole lot of evidence to support actually whitening the teeth but we do see that surface stains may be reduced with the use of this toothpaste," says Dr. Anderson.

There is one caveat to remember before you run to the store. Anderson says charcoal toothpaste should not replace your daily use of an anti-cavity, flouride toothpaste. “Sometimes we tend to overuse them, they can cause abrasion of the enamel. That is something we want to prevent,” she says.

The final verdict? “I think it’s too premature to say charcoal is the thing that is going to make our dental problems go away,” says Dr. Anderson. “With anything I would say use them judiciously.”

Dr. Anderson says if you decide to use charcoal toothpaste, make sure you’re using a brand from a reputable company and to use products that are accepted by the American Dental Association.

Charcoal toothpaste.
Charcoal toothpaste. (Source: Christine Sperow)

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