Charcoal toothpaste is very popular these days, but it’s not necessarily the best option for braces patients!
There’s no denying the growing popularity of charcoal toothpaste, and even renowned brands like Crest, Colgate and Burt’s Bees have recently entered into the charcoal toothpaste market.
But is this dental hygiene trend worth it for braces patients? The JK Orthodontics team is here to help you make the very best oral hygiene and upkeep decisions throughout your treatment journey, and below we’ll be detailing everything that you need to know about the safety of charcoal toothpaste for braces patients!
What Exactly Is Charcoal Toothpaste?
Charcoal toothpaste utilizes activated charcoal as one of its main ingredients, which technically is a fine powder made of coconut shells, wood and other natural products.
Activated charcoal is sort of like a sponge in that it’s very absorbent, and it’s known for lifting stains from teeth enamel and pulling out toxins from the surface layer of an individual’s teeth.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Bad For Your Teeth?
It’s important to remember that charcoal toothpaste is slightly abrasive, which means that it can contribute to the wearing down of your teeth enamel over long periods of time.
This is why many dentists and orthodontists consider charcoal toothpaste usage to be a slippery slope, because although this toothpaste can help with short-term surface stain removal, it’ll actually cause your teeth to get more yellow in the long-run due to enamel damages and increased tooth sensitivity.
Charcoal Is Known For Damaging Tooth Enamel
The enamel of your teeth is crucial when it comes to protecting your more sensitive inner tooth layers, and your enamel is what protects your teeth while biting, chewing and all sorts of other daily activities. It’s also important to remember that your teeth enamel doesn’t grow back, so preserving your enamel is something that should be taken very seriously!
The increased risk to tooth enamel is one of the main reasons why the American Dental Association (ADA) doesn’t approve of charcoal toothpastes. This means that charcoal toothpastes aren’t a healthy option for anyone—regardless of whether or not you’re currently wearing braces!
Charcoal Toothpaste & Braces
Although your braces will always be very durable, charcoal can sometimes get stuck in between wires and brackets—and it can even leave black specks behind that are tough to get rid of.
And it’s typically not advised for braces patients to brush aggressively, because this can potentially loosen wire, elastics and brackets. Adding charcoal toothpaste into your oral hygiene routine can place even more pressure on your braces, which can increase the likelihood of damages and orthodontic emergencies!
Are Charcoal Toothbrushes Safe?
Charcoal toothbrushes entail bristles that have been infused with activated charcoal, and these bristles are widely believed to prevent bad breath and absorb oral bacteria.
However, the bristles on charcoal toothbrushes are also abrasive just like charcoal toothpaste, which means they can pose issues for your teeth enamel. This is why these toothbrushes are not approved by the ADA, and subsequently aren’t considered to be safe to use.
What About Charcoal Mouthwash?
The National Library of Medicine has recently published a study concluding that there’s insufficient evidence to uphold the marketing claims oriented around charcoal-based mouthwashes. These claims are oriented around tooth whitening, antimicrobial activity, supporting bad breath and periodontal disease control.
So, there’s little evidence to prove the health or cosmetic benefits of charcoal mouthwash products. And just like with other charcoal-based dental products, these mouthwashes pose risks to tooth enamel as well.
Can Braces Patients Use Whitening Toothpastes?
One of the main reasons why people are interested in charcoal toothpaste is for teeth whitening purposes, so is it a good idea for braces patients to try different types of whitening toothpastes instead of charcoal-based products? Not necessarily!
It’s important to remember that your brackets are directly bonded to your teeth surfaces, which means there’s an area underneath the brackets that won’t receive the whitening treatment. This could potentially leave you with discolored squares on your teeth when your braces are removed.
So, even though other whitening toothpastes aren’t necessarily bad for braces and tooth enamel like charcoal toothpaste is, there’s still a chance for discoloration that’s best to be avoided until after your treatment is completed.
Reach Out To JK Orthodontics When You Have More Questions About Charcoal Toothpaste!
JK Orthodontics is the leading orthodontic practice in the Greater Columbus OH area, and our team is here to support you or your child throughout the entirety of your treatment journey with us. We understand how tempting it can be to jump on certain dental hygiene trends like charcoal toothpaste, but it’s simply one of those products that braces patients should abstain from.
Reach out to us online or call us at 614-766-0330 (Dublin office) or 614-471-6355 (Gahanna office) to ask us any questions that you have about charcoal toothpaste and other charcoal-based dental products!