Instagram has taken the marks from indie to superstar status, catapulting many to million dollar companies, but the platform also touts products that can do more harm than good. A popular trend that you will see in "grams" is the emergence of carbon toothpaste. Pictures and videos often depict people brushing their teeth, their grin covered by a black paste. It is equally disgusting and fascinating: they rinse, spit and reveal lighter, whiter teeth.
But do your teeth light up because they have only been covered in a black paste? Have the influencers you've seen marketing this product recently received professional teeth whitening? We consulted several cosmetic dentists to ask how effective charcoal is for tooth whitening and if it can actually be harmful in the long run.
The good news is that a majority of experts said that charcoal is safe to use. However, they have concerns about consistent use. Victoria Veytsman, DDS, who treats clients like Hailey Baldwin, says that she is not 100 percent on board with carbon toothpaste. "Maybe it's good for a face mask," she said. "Maybe it takes out the toxins, but with your teeth it is a little different because you can cause small microcracks. There you want to exfoliate your skin, you don't want to exfoliate your teeth. Your skin regenerates. Teeth don't."
Another reason to skip it? "Brushing the teeth with something dark is not meaningful, because your teeth are porous – they will only absorb color," says Veytsman.
While Veytsman has concerns about litter of charcoal, the dentist tells Dr. Jon Marashi sees it as an advantage. "Activated charcoal is a fun and effective, natural way to safely light teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease when properly formulated in toothpaste. They provide a gentle abrasion to lighten the teeth by lifting surface spots. They also remove the bacteria which forms plaques, causing tooth decay, unwanted staining and gum disease, "he said.
Dr. Michael Apa, DDS, founder of Apa Rosenthal Group and Apa Beauty, mimics Marashi's thoughts. "Charcoal-infused oral care products can be safe to use and effective in removing stains. The activated carbon acts as an absorbent which in turn draws stains out of the teeth and gives them a wider appearance," he said, even though he has a disclaimer. It is important to remember that carbon is not a substitute for fluoride or effective daily toothpaste that nourishes the teeth and makes them stronger over time, Apa says.
Charcoal toothpaste distinguishes that they are made with natural ingredients and often excludes fluoride, an ingredient that helps with plaque. For example, HiSmile, a popular Australian oral care brand on Instagram that delivers over 1.1 million followers and celebrity reports from Kardashians and Victoria's Secret Angel Romee Strijd, says on its website that it "uses Sodium Hydrocarbonate, Xylitol and Propolis along with natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Calcium Carbonate to kill or remove the build up of plaque in your teeth that cause staining and bad breath "instead of fluoride.
A representative of HiSmile said that the brand understands the scrubbing nature of coal. "Activated charcoal has an abrasive texture that can carry enamel on the tooth if it is not used properly," she said. "With this in mind, our night toothpaste contains only a small proportion of activated carbon, so no enamel can be damaged. We connect active carbon in our formula with both bentonite clay and calcium which helps to remineralize and strengthen the enamel on the teeth."
As said, Apa suggests switching your cream cream toothpaste every other day with a noncharcoal alternative containing fluoride and saying that most of these bleaching products tend to contain hydrogen peroxide. Dr. Kevin Sands, DDS, suggests looking for silica as an ingredient in these toothpastes and continuing with caution even though he mentions that they are generally safe to use and supports the use of them as well as charcoal-infused brushes. 19659002] "Charcoal-coated brushes increase the surface of each brush, which helps remove contaminants from the enamel," said Sands.
Bottom line? The wood school is abrasive but is usually safe enough to use on the teeth to remove surface stains and whites. However, if you care about your general oral health, make sure you replace your carbon products with a fluorine-containing product.