Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Health Warnings about Charcoal Tooth Whitening

charcoal toothpaste.jpg
 
I’m a basic black kind of guy.  My vehicle is black, we wear black scrubs in the office, heck I even wear black gloves when treating patients.  So naturally, I was intrigued when I got word of a new trend in toothpaste that involved putting charcoal in it.  Many people were claiming, with very little science to back it up, that using toothpaste with charcoal as a main ingredient was the newest and best way to whiten your teeth.
 
If you happen to be one of those people who think charcoal toothpaste is the answer, you might want to rethink your decision.  As someone who works with teeth 4 days a week and  loves science, I can tell you that charcoal toothpaste isn’t all that it’s supposed to be.
 
First of all, the idea of a toothpaste is to provide a very, very, VERY mild abrasive that helps remove plaque buildup from your teeth.  The reason for that is to preserve the enamel.  As most folks know, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.  However, it can be worn away over time with abrasives.  Charcoal is much more abrasive than you need to clean your teeth.  What that means is that the more you scrub your teeth with a charcoal toothpaste, the more enamel you will wear away.  Over a long enough time, you could, theoretically, wear away all the enamel on your teeth.
 
The second thing you need to know is that teeth are not made of solid enamel.  The under the thin layer of enamel is a material called dentin.  Dentin is a yellowish color.  That means that abrading your enamel away will actually make your teeth look yellow.  There’s nothing like starting out wanting whiter teeth and ending up with just the opposite.  The other factors about dentin is that it is *much* less decay resistant that enamel.  Exposed dentin has a much greater chance of getting a cavity than healthy enamel.  Dentin is also much more sensitive.  Many folks with exposed areas of dentin end up spending money with dental professionals to FIX that problem.
 
So don’t go spending your hard earned money on something that will actually wear your teeth away and cause other problems.  Stick with tried and true products that have a proven track record.

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