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Should I Use Charcoal Toothpaste?

January 11, 2019 | Toothpaste | The Office of Palisades Dentists

People are always looking for new ways to brighten their smile. Some of the most popular approaches are at-home treatments or trendy products, but not all of these deliver the best results. Charcoal toothpaste has bombarded social media and beauty blogs with claims of producing a brighter, whiter smile without the use of dental bleach. While charcoal can be beneficial for helping patients in the emergency room who may have consumed poisonous substances, many dentists do not advocate for its use in oral care.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Pros and Cons of Charcoal Toothpaste


Charcoal toothpaste is usually made with activated charcoal, the same absorbent and corrosive substance used in medicine for gastrointestinal purposes. Due to the gently abrasive nature of activated charcoal, occasionally brushing with this type of toothpaste can help loosen plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth. The debris clings to the charcoal particles, and the teeth may appear whiter or cleaner after rinsing.


Unfortunately, any positive effects of using charcoal toothpaste come with oral health consequences. Charcoal toothpaste can strip tooth enamel, making the teeth more sensitive and susceptible to decay. It can even make the teeth appear more discolored rather than brighter because of the damage it does to their surface. Enamel loss is permanent, which is a scary price to pay for choosing at-home tooth whitening over professional services.

Why You Should Choose a Fluoride Toothpaste

Man Smiling With Toothbrush

Activated charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride, a natural mineral that is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile. Unlike charcoal, fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, making it more difficult for plaque and bacteria to erode the teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste can improve the longevity of your teeth, but if you want a whiter smile, you may want to consider professional teeth whitening. A smile makeover can include whitening, composite bonding, dental implants, and more to achieve the results you desire.  

For more information about proper at-home oral care or to schedule a dental checkup appointment, please call the Palisades Dentists at 310.459.2303.