Henderson, NV | Doctor Debunks Charcoal Toothpaste | Michaela Tozzi, DMD

Dr. Tozzi debunks charcoal toothpaste and explains the pro's and con's as well as if it's recommended for patients.


Dr. Michaela Tozzi: If you do that, you'll have massive, massive problems. It'll make you sick.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: Dr. Tozzi here, and today we're going to break down whether charcoal actually makes your teeth whiter. So I've been a dentist for almost seven years and I've seen so many different ways that patients try to whiten their teeth. Whether it's at home with baking soda, some of your home remedies, maybe hydrogen peroxide, as well as some of your over-the-counter stuff, even gimmicky things that they find on Instagram. So there's a lot of different things floating out there. So we're going to talk about one in particular, charcoal toothpaste and does it work?

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: All right. So there are a lot of different home care products that patients use to whiten their teeth. One of the more popular ones that I hear about from my patients, are the 3D Crest Whitestrips. Do they work? I think they do work. It just takes consistency, it's a slower process. And I always tell patients to back off if they're starting to experience too much sensitivity. Do they work? Yes. The cons to that is it's consistency and it's a slower going process. Basically what you're doing, by constantly putting hydrogen peroxide on your teeth, is you're leaching your enamel of some of those important things like calcium, fluoride, like that. It weakens the enamel, making the teeth a little bit more susceptible to sensitivity, to cold mostly.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: So let's talk about one of the latest trends in whitening, charcoal toothpaste. Now I'm not talking about the kind of charcoal that you go and you get at the store and you throw on your grill and you're throwing some burgers or hot dogs on your grill for a cookout. That's not what we're talking about. If you do that, you'll have massive, massive problems. It'll make you sick. And so, we're talking about specifically, charcoal activated toothpaste, that comes in either a paste or a powder, and it is made specifically to go in your mouth on your teeth. And look at here, charcoal activated mouthwash. What do we got next? Oh, activated charcoal toothpaste for epic whitening. Oh my gosh. Oh, it also has fresh mint and coconut oil. It's got all your buzzwords, all your trending topics right now, how convenient. And lastly, charcoal activated toothbrush bristles.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: Let's talk about the pros and cons with these products. Do I recommend them to my patients? Currently, no, and I'll tell you why. The problem with charcoal activated toothpaste is, it tends to be abrasive. If it's abrasive, great, gets off stains. However, if you cross that line of it being too abrasive, what you're going to actually do is start to brush away your enamel. Once you brush away your enamel, it can actually make your teeth yellower, because you're exposing the layer of yellow dentin underneath your enamel. The other issue is that's going to cause more sensitivity. The other issue is going to make your teeth more prone to cavities.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: So in a nutshell, that's why I don't recommend it to my patients currently. I think it's kind of got that special effect thing, where you put it on, your teeth turn black, and then now you go, you brush, whatever, you rinse it off and then, boom, your teeth are white. So I don't know if it's a placebo effect, and that's why it's kind of trending right now, or if it's just the newest, hottest thing. There is a little bit of information in a study out there, that shows that activated charcoal bristles may have an antibacterial effect in your mouth. Again, still a newer study, not a ton of information, but that's the only thing I will go out on a ledge and say, this may be legit.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: So a quick recap. Activated charcoal toothpaste, do I recommend it? No, not yet, not until we have some more information out there. Don't jump on the bandwagon, because it's natural and it's this and that. Natural doesn't always mean effective or safe. So you got to do your research. Make sure if you're looking for a product, that it's backed by the ADA, that'll be your best bet, to know that you're getting something safe and healthy and recommended by dentists.

Dr. Michaela Tozzi: You want more health and beauty tips? Make sure you subscribe to my channel, like this video, and follow me at Dr. Michaela Tozzi. Until next time.