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Is This New Trend Really Good for Your Smile? Black Charcoal, the New Fad

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“The Latest Fad for Whiter Teeth Is To Turn Them Black” front page article in the Wall Street Journal on August 12, 2018 discusses the latest trend to whiten teeth–using activated charcoal in toothpaste as a cleanser to whiten teeth. A good idea? Not according to the American Dental Association, which according to the article “says there is insufficient evidence to show dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth.”

Toothpastes are measured by their abrasivity using the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale and the Relative Enamel Abrasion (REA) index. Toothpastes must have a dentin abrasivity index of 250 or less to meet the dentin abrasivity standard and 40 or less to meet the enamel abrasivity index for the American Dental Association. None of the activated charcoal toothpastes listed online that I found had an abrasivity value so it’s hard to determine if they will wear away tooth enamel and dentin with consistent use. None had fluoride as an ingredient and yet all marketed that as a positive attribute…. but is it? An AP Report published on August 7, 2018 referenced “an article in the dental journal Gerodontology that reviewed the scientific literature on cavities. Its primary conclusion is that, without fluoride, oral hygiene efforts have ‘no impact’ on cavity rates.”

My next blog will discuss this in greater detail! If you have any questions or it’s time for your next dental cleaning and exam, give our office a call today!