If like many Americans, you might feel the need to Google for a “dentist near me” in hopes of scheduling teeth whitening treatments that will help revitalize the color of your smile.
In recent years, teeth whitening ranks as the most commonly performed cosmetic dental procedure by dentists in the U.S. Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on teeth whitening products in hopes of achieving the smile of their dreams.
To get a brighter, healthier looking smile, many people quickly seize on the latest teeth whitening trends that circulate the internet. Unfortunately, a willingness to quickly jump on the bandwagon can leave people exposed should the latest trend actually end up being harmful to their health.
If you’ve spent much time on social media, YouTube, or read celebrity gossip blogs, you’re probably already familiar with the trend towards using charcoal-based toothpastes. Championed by YouTube celebrities and Instagram influencers, brushing with a charcoal-based toothpaste is supposed to provide users with a brilliantly bright smile after just one or two uses.
Unfortunately, like many claims made on the internet, the hype surrounding charcoal toothpaste seems to contain more fiction than fact.
Charcoal toothpastes that are marketed as helping to whiten teeth are a “marketing gimmick” which could actually increase the user’s risk for tooth decay and staining, reports a recent review published in the British Dental Journal.
According to researchers, these charcoal products often contain no fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel. Additionally, no scientific evidence exists to back up the claims made by manufacturers that using these types of products can improve tooth complexion.
Pointing to the Celebrity Effect
Charcoal actually has a long history of oral hygiene use that dates all the way back to ancient Greece. To Plato, Socrates, and other Greeks of the ancient world, charcoal was used to remove stains and to cover up unpleasant odors. Fast forward several thousand years and charcoal products are once again being used by famous names.
Whether Hollywood celebrities or YouTube sensations, there is no shortage of people making unfounded claims about the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste. Unfortunately, in our celebrity obsessed culture, the recommendations of these influencers have convinced consumers to give these types of toothpastes a try. Sadly, the hype certainly doesn’t deliver.
Ever since the charcoal toothpaste craze began in 2017, researchers have attempted to test different products to see if the claims made by manufacturers could be validated.
In their review, researchers examined 50 different whitening products and found that none of them proved effective at whitening users’ teeth. However, researchers did find that brushing with charcoal toothpaste could actually cause enamel erosion and lead to more tooth sensitivity.
Ignore the Hype and Google for a “Dentist Near Me” Instead
The primary problem with charcoal toothpaste are the very components that supposedly give these brands their effectiveness at removing stains.
Charcoal toothpaste isn’t made from the same substance we put into our grills. These toothpastes use a differently treated version of charcoal that’s safe to swallow. So why call them charcoal toothpaste? That’s because these brands do contain charcoal powders that give the toothpaste a more abrasive quality than normal brands. Brushing with these abrasive agents is supposed to scrub stains off from the surface of our teeth.
In actuality, researchers have found that brushing with these abrasive agents can actually damage tooth enamel and irritate gum tissue. This in turn actually increases an individual’s risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease, not the whiter smile that’s advertised.
If you desire a whiter smile, that’s great. Just don’t take a short cut and use a product that’s not safe. Just Google for a “dentist near me” and schedule your next teeth whitening at Seaside Family Dentistry.