Charcoal toothpaste not all it’s cracked up to be

charcoal toothpaste

A new report has concluded there are a range of harmful attributes surrounding charcoal toothpaste use. 

Used in Australia and around the world, manufacturers typically claim it whitens teeth and removes stains. However, the report in the British Dental Journal found some products were actually harmful to teeth. 

The report evaluated all the existing literature reviews from a database of 50 charcoal-based toothpastes and made a number of findings.


The report also looked at the ‘worrying approach’ to marketing of these products and concluded that there ‘is a paucity of supporting scientific data’ behind their promotion and that an ‘evidence-based promotion’ would be preferable. 

“The ADA recommends against the use of charcoal-powder or charcoal-based toothpastes to clean and/or whiten the teeth,” ADA spokesperson Dr Mikaela Chinotti said.

“These products can be abrasive and damaging to the teeth and gums and many do not contain fluoride, a key ingredient in protecting and strengthening the teeth. These products use consumer-attractive terms such as herbal, eco-friendly, natural, organic and pure— however the health benefits of charcoal-based products remain unproven.”

Dr Chinotti added that should patients wish to whiten their teeth, the ADA recommends they seek treatment by a registered dental practitioner who can advise on the best method and whether the treatment is right for them.

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