I'm sure many of you have seen or heard about the newest trend in at-home tooth whitening: activated charcoal toothpaste. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it - I've come across advertisements for it on every social media platform I use!
If you dig a little deeper, you'll be bombarded with bloggers, Instagram models, and beauty editors touting their own before/after photos (along with links on where to purchase activated charcoal toothpaste).
However, if something sounds too good to be true - it often is. The Journal of the American Dental Association recently published a meta analysis of 118 studies that looked at the effectiveness of activated charcoal toothpastes. They found no evidence that charcoal toothpastes are effective for whitening. Worse, there are concerns that charcoal toothpastes can be too abrasive, leading to possible enamel damage over time. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities, is also missing from most charcoal toothpastes. So - ineffective for whitening, possibly dangerous for enamel, and higher chance you'll get a cavity because it doesn't contain fluoride? In my professional opinion, activated charcoal toothpaste just isn't worth the risk.
The good news is that there are many safe and effective ways to whiten your teeth. We offer professional whitening at Lakeland Family Dental, which I use myself. Over-the-counter products such as Crest White Strips can also be effectively used, even if results aren't quite as pronounced when compared to professional products.
For more reading, check out this article from Shape Magazine
For more information on safe and effective tooth whitening, feel free to contact us at Lakeland Family Dental!