Charcoal toothpaste isn’t actually good for your teeth (Picture: Getty)Charcoal toothpastes are one of the biggest teeth whitening trends around, with adverts popping up on Instagram and a variety of different brands selling their own versions on the likes of Amazon.
But if you were thinking of buying one to try for yourself, you may want to hold off, because it turns out they might not actually be any good for your teeth.
New research suggests that charcoal toothpastes may actually increase the risk of abrasions, contribute to tooth decay and even fail to whiten teeth.
The news comes from the British Dental Journal, which says you should approach the toothpastes with caution because many of them don’t contain fluoride, which you need to fight tooth decay.
The study examined 50 charcoal toothpastes and found that only 8% of them contained fluoride. The review also found that the effectiveness of those that did contain it may be worthless because the charcoal can inactivate the fluoride.
50% of the toothpastes claimed to have therapeutic benefits while 30% claimed to strengthen teeth.
Others claimed antibacterial and antiseptic benefits – but the research suggests that none of these claims have been proven.
The study found that the charcoal isn’t that safe (Picture: Getty)Though 96% claimed to whiten teeth, the review found that actually, the charcoal-based pastes or powders contain an insufficient amount of free radical bleaching agent for them to have any whitening or stain-removing effect.
Alongside these debunked claims, it was also found that charcoal toothpastes may even be harmful, due to possibly having chemicals that naturally occur in coal; crude oil and gasoline.
Dr Linda Greenwall, lead author of the study and member of the British Dental Bleaching Society, who conducted the research, says it’s important that the toothpaste you’re using contains calcium, fluoride and phosphate – because these are all needed to strengthen the enamel.
She said: ‘Not all charcoal toothpastes are the same and some could potentially be causing lasting damage to a person’s teeth.
‘Toothpastes should contain fluoride to have additional health benefits for the teeth.
The most worrying aspect about the marketing of charcoal pastes and powders appears to be a strong emphasis on the benefits which appeal to consumers, which have yet to be disproved.
‘This ‘scientifically claimed until proved wrong’ approach is favoured over substantiated, evidence-based promotion.’
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