Charcoal toothpaste: It may whiten your teeth but it's a risk to your oral health, dentists say

Posted at 3:56 PM, May 21, 2019

From bloggers to YouTubers to social media influencers, activated charcoal toothpaste is the latest all-natural teeth whitening trend.

"So charcoal toothpaste is charcoal," says Noah Ariola-Tirella, a Denver dentist. "It's burned wood."

Ariola-Tirella says using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth can potentially do more harm than good.

"All these charcoal products people are using aren't regulated and haven't been tested for how hard they are," he said. "They may actually be scratching your teeth to the point of damage."

But despite concerns from some dentists, the product has gone mainstream as more people switch to all-natural products to get results.

However, Ariola-Triella says the toothpastes we've grown up with are actually natural.

"Fluoride is all-natural," he said. "The way we learned about fluoride is that it naturally occurs in our water."

And if you're still thinking about using the charcoal toothpaste, he has this warning: "Some studies are finding particles impregnate in your gums and may not be removable without surgical intervention," he says. "So your teeth might end up white but your gums might end up blue or gray."

So that charcoal toothpaste may help whiten your teeth, but do dentists say it's good overall for your oral health? No.

So brush at your own risk.