March 15, 2023 6 min read
Charcoal toothbrushes have become a popular alternative to traditional toothbrushes in recent years. These toothbrushes are made with charcoal-infused bristles that are said to have numerous benefits for oral hygiene. One of the main claimed benefits is that they are thought to help whiten your teeth.
Butdo charcoal toothbrushes really work? In this article, we will take a look at the evidence for and against their effectiveness. And, even if they do “work” does that mean they are recommended for safe use?
Charcoal toothbrushes are toothbrushes that have bristles made withactivated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been treated with oxygen to make it highly porous. This porous structure gives activated charcoal its ability to absorb impurities and toxins.
When you brush your teeth with a charcoal toothbrush, the activated charcoal bristles come into contact with your teeth and gums. The charcoal absorbs bacteria and plaque, helping to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Some charcoal toothbrushes also contain other natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil or coconut oil, which can help to fight bacteria and freshen your breath.
Activated charcoal is made by commonly heating charcoal to high temperatures, typically between600-900°C, in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop internal spaces or "pores" that increase its surface area. These pores, combined with charcoal's natural chemical properties, make it highly adsorbent, meaning it is able to trap and hold onto other substances, such as impurities and gases. The charcoal is then cooled and may be ground into a fine powder for use in a variety of applications such as water filtration, air purification, and medicinal uses.
The biggest problem and potential risk of brushing with activated charcoal is its high abrasion factor. It is recommended to use a low-abrasion toothpaste, or toothbrush, as removing enamel is NOT a desirable thing. Studies have shown that activated charcoal has a high-abrasion factor and its overuse, or use on softer enamel, can cause damage to your enamel.(Abrasion Behaviour of Charcoal)
Because of their abrasive nature, charcoal toothbrushes are not eligible for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval. Most dentists agree that the use of high abrasive toothbrushes are not suitable and so they do not recommend charcoal toothbrushes.
If you do choose to use a charcoal toothbrush, then it is generally recommended to use a charcoal toothbrush in place of a regular toothbrush ONLY once or twice a week as a supplement to your regular oral hygiene routine.
Do NOT use it more than once a day. It takes time for teeth to remineralize and so a high abrasion product should not be used without an adequate intervening time period.
It is important to note that charcoal toothbrushes should not be used as a replacement for regular toothbrushes and should be used in conjunction with regular toothpaste and floss for best results.
Natural: Charcoal toothbrushes are made from natural ingredients, which appeals to many users.
Whitening effect: Charcoal toothbrushes are known to help remove surface stains from your teeth, leaving them looking whiter and brighter.
Antibacterial properties: Charcoal toothbrushes have been shown to have antibacterial properties, which can help to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Freshens breath: Some charcoal toothbrushes contain natural ingredients that can help to freshen your breath, such as tea tree oil or coconut oil. And, the antibacterial action helps to control foul smelling bacterial by-products.
Regular teeth cleaning is important for your overall health. You can understand the importance of teeth cleaning by following points:
Brushing your teeth with charcoal is a trend that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Charcoal is a natural teeth whitener and is said to have benefits, such as removing stains, freshening breath, and bacterial control.
While brushing your teeth with charcoal can have some benefits, it is not recommended to do so on a daily basis, if at all. It is highly abrasive and one runs the risk of permanent damage to one’s enamel. Plus, as one loses enamel the underlying tooth structure will start to show through and give your smile a permanent yellow look.
Discover even more about Layers of Teeth.
There are two main reasons that activated charcoal help to whiten your teeth. The healthy one is that activated charcoal is very effective at absorbing toxins and staining material, so this helps to naturally whiten the teeth. The other, and unhealthy one, is that the abrasion factor will scrape away surface stains (and enamel) for a temporary whitening effect.
One safe way to use activated charcoal would be in whitening strips that rest on your enamel without brushing or abrasion. You could also just apply it as a paste and let it sit in place BUT this is super messy and too awkward for most people.
Activated charcoal typically stays in the body for about 24 hours. The amount of time it stays in the system can vary depending on the dose and how it was taken (e.g., as a powder, capsule, or mixed with a liquid). While this is not generally a health concern, iIt is also important to note that activated charcoal can interfere with the absorption of certain medications, so it's important to talk to your doctor before taking it if you are currently taking any prescription medications.
Overall, while charcoal toothbrushes appear to have some benefits, such as their antibacterial properties, the benefits are not worth the risk of enamel loss. Your enamel does not regrow and should be taken care of well as your teeth will be with you for the rest of your life… hopefully!
Safer and healthier whitening products exist. For example, the Great Oral Health remineralizing toothpaste is packed with nano-hydroxyapatite. This form of natural calcium is engineered to rapidly bond to all the microscopic holes in your enamel. Not only does this provide fantastic remineralization and strengthening but as the nano-hydroxyapatite is made of pure white crystals, it will naturally help to whiten your teeth over time as you build stronger, cavity-resistant teeth.
In closing, while charcoal toothbrushes look to be a promising option for those looking for anatural and effective oral care solution, it is best to stick to a low abrasion toothbrush and by all means do not rub highly abrasive charcoal on your enamel.