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Here's What You Should Know About Charcoal Toothpaste

Is charcoal toothpaste exactly what you need to get whiter, brighter teeth?

Activated charcoal—which is essentially a form of carbon which has been treated to make the surface of its particles porous—has been enjoying it's moment in the limelight in recent months, and the ingredient can be found in a wide number of products including facial scrubs and pressed juices, as well as toothpaste. Except, when it comes to teeth, using charcoal is actually not a new trend.

According to Colgate, using charcoal for your teeth dates back to Ancient Roman times when individuals reportedly used a charcoal powder to clean their teeth. These days it's used in a similar way, but is intended to help improve your smile, giving you brighter and much whiter teeth. However, the oral care company warns against using this product, because activated charcoal is reportedly so abrasive that it can wear down your tooth enamel if used regularly. And despite the popularity of this product, according to the September 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, there is insufficient clinical or laboratory data to show that charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices are either safe or effective for your teeth.

A New York-based dentist, Trey Wilson, DDS, echoed these claims during an interview with Health magazine. He told the publication that although the charcoal attracting particles have been studied in depth in both hospital toxicology departments and air filtering systems, little is known about their effects on the mouth. "For example, how does charcoal interact with medicines if swallowed? And how does it affect healthy oral bacteria?" Wilson says.

So, if it's whiter teeth that you're after, then it's probably better to go for an in-office dental exam or research home whitening kits, just to be on the safe side!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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