Charcoal Products for Teeth

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Despite Activated Charcoal Trend, No Evidence It Is Safe, Effective

WBBH-TV Fort Myers, FL (5/30, Polansky) stated that although “activated charcoal has been dubbed ‘black magic’ for skin care, makeup, and even toothpaste,” dentists, like Dr. Phillip Kraver of Cape Dental Care, are “saying that charcoal toothpaste can actually do more harm than good to teeth.” Dr. Kraver said, “I don’t currently recommend charcoal toothpaste to my patients, mainly because it’s not proven to be safe or effective.” In addition, the Florida Dental Association said in a statement, “There is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth. While this method claims that scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or charcoal paste will bring a shine back to your smile, using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth can actually make them look more yellow.” The article noted that a review published in The Journal of the American Dental Association said there is “insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.” When selecting a toothpaste, the article advised choosing one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which verifies the product is safe and effective.

Dental professionals can find additional information on whitening on an ADA Science Institute-developed Oral Health Topics page. The ADA also offers a brochure, Tooth Whitening for a Better Smile.

Dental professionals can direct their patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for evidence-based information about teeth whitening, including information on natural teeth whitening methods.

The ADA provides a complete list of toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, including some with stain removal attributes.

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