Is charcoal beneficial for teeth cleaning?


Everybody loves to eat burgers or grilled veggies, especially when they are hot off the charcoal grill. You might be surprised to hear that charcoal has few other uses besides cooking; nowadays, it is seen as an ingredient in toothpaste. Dental researchers around the globe are recommending giving charcoal toothpaste a try.

You can find a vast selection of dental care products that consist of charcoal, including tooth powder and toothpaste. Dental products containing charcoal can be a good choice if you find new ways to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. 


Know about activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is made from fine carbon powder by burning shells of coconut, coal, bone char, olive pits, etc. Then it is passed through high heat that activates it by changing the charcoal structure, making it very porous. Chemical activation is mainly preferred over heat processing as it is rapid and effective.

Activated charcoal also has a negative charge that enhances its inclination to attract positively charged particles, such as tooth plaques and stains. Some studies have also proved that activated charcoal possesses the capability to remove the plaque that has accumulated on the tooth surface. 

Activated charcoal is prepared for medical purposes by heating regular charcoal in the presence of a gas that makes it even more porous. Thus, according to the US National Library of Medicine, activated charcoal can efficiently absorb toxic chemicals, making it a regular treatment for accidental poisonings.

Moreover, activated charcoal helps alleviate intestinal gas, reduces cholesterol level, prohibits hangovers and assists in regulating the bile flow issues during pregnancy.


Advantages of charcoal for your teeth

The use of charcoal as a teeth cleaning product is not new. Indians brushed with everything from charcoal to tree bark in ancient times, and this black powder was found in toothpaste recipes during the 19th-century homemaker's guide. In the last decade, there has been a re-emergence of charcoal-based toothpaste that claims to have whitening, antiviral, antibacterial, and breath-freshening properties. But more evidence is required to confidently establish the safety and efficiency of charcoal toothpaste.

Charcoal mainly has strong tooth whitening properties. Activated charcoal used in dental products has strong antibacterial properties. It assists in making your teeth clean by eliminating all plague and stains. You can also use charcoal toothpaste to remove the stains caused by food and drink like coffee, red wine, tea, and smoking.

Charcoal absorbs a lot of bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for bad breath. It also eliminates stains without causing any damage to the tooth enamel. Moreover, it assists in prohibiting future staining. Charcoal is considered inert and safe. Doctors recommend it for treating people who have ingested anything toxic. 


How to use charcoal for your teeth?

While putting this charcoal-containing toothpaste in your toothbrush, do not worry about its taste, as you will not brush with portions from your barbeque grill. It might be black, but the charcoal mixed in the paste is very close to the soft consistency of baking soda. Much charcoal toothpaste consists of flavoring agents, like other tooth whitening toothpaste.

 If you are prone to tooth decay, then remain aware that not all toothpaste consists of fluoride. Therefore, replacing your regular toothpaste with fluoride-free charcoal toothpaste enhances your risk of getting more cavities and tooth decay in the long term. Fluoride is vital for strengthening tooth enamel. Besides the lack of fluoride, charcoal's abrasive nature will wear down your enamel.

There are a lot of tooth whitening products available at present, and some of them are at more risk than others. To date, few studies have been made on the efficiency of using this toothpaste. Early research has figured out that it is less efficient than other methods like polyethylene microbeads, but the environmental effects of microbeads must not be ignored.

It is always better to consult your dentist about the regular use of charcoal paste. Your dentist will examine your teeth and give you recommendations accordingly. MyDentalPlan is one platform that gives you access to many dentists you can consult.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

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