With well-known brands like Colgate, Crest, Hello and Burt’s Bees entering the charcoal toothpaste market, it is plain to see charcoal toothpaste has become more popular lately. Though this trend popularizes, people want to know if charcoal toothpaste is effective, and if it is safe for kids. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss charcoal toothpaste and using it when it comes to your kids. Ultimately, children should not use charcoal toothpaste and we want to stress why.

What Does Activated Charcoal Do in Toothpaste?

Activated charcoal, which is a fine-grain powder made from wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances, is used in charcoal toothpaste. It claims to pull out toxins and lift stains from the enamel (the surface layer of the teeth) since activated charcoal is highly absorbent, acting like a sponge.

What are the Side Effects of Charcoal Toothpaste?

It is not advised for children, teens or adults to use charcoal toothpaste. It can wear down your enamel over time since charcoal is abrasive. It can cause your teeth to yellow over time and become more sensitive as it damages your enamel while charcoal toothpaste may appear to remove surface stains in the short run. The sensitive inner layers of your teeth is critically protected by your enamel. Damage that would otherwise occur due to chewing, biting and grinding teeth is deterred with the protective enamel. Enamel does not grow back, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. Avoiding abrasive materials and minimizing contact with sugary acids is key, even with baby teeth, preserves your enamel. Any toothpastes with activated charcoal is not approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Most pediatric dentists discourage the use of charcoal toothpaste, or any other abrasive ingredients, on your child’s teeth.

Why Do Dentists Not Recommend Charcoal Toothbrushes for Kids?

A toothbrush that has bristles infused with activated charcoal is a charcoal toothbrush. These bristles are typically attached to a wooden/ bamboo handle. It is believed that the charcoal bristles absorb bacteria and helps prevent bad breath. Charcoal toothbrush bristles are abrasive and damaging to tooth enamel, however, just like charcoal toothpaste. Ultimately, they are not safe to use as charcoal toothbrushes do not have the ADA’s seal of acceptance.

Is Charcoal Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

“There is insufficient evidence to substantiate the therapeutic and cosmetic marketing claims of charcoal-based mouthwashes, including antimicrobial activity, anti-halitosis, tooth whitening, periodontal disease control, caries reduction and tooth remineralisation, among others.” This passage is based on a study published in the National Library of Medicine. Basically, for neither cosmetics nor health, there is not enough evidence to prove that charcoal-based mouthwashes provide any benefits. As it is potentially damaging to enamel, charcoal mouthwash is unnecessary. Instead, use a mouthwash that has been approved by the ADA.

Can Kids Use Charcoal Floss on Their Teeth?

Using charcoal floss is a gamble, like charcoal toothpaste and charcoal mouthwash. It make you more susceptible to tooth decay (cavities) and sensitivity, because, as we mentioned, charcoal particles can wear down enamel. Again, use one of these flosses with the ADA seal of acceptance instead.

Can I Whiten My Child’s Teeth?

Including Burt’s Bees Whitening Toothpaste with fluoride, Colgate Total SF and Burt’s Bees Kids’ Fluoride toothpaste that prevents cavities and removes stains, the ADA has approved a few whitening toothpastes. Before considering teeth whitening for your child, it’s best to wait until all of the permanent teeth have emerged, around age 14, for parents’ consideration. Even then, it is recommended that you try natural methods of whitening teeth or choose treatments with low bleach content. A great option for strengthening teeth and removing surface stains is fluoride toothpaste.

Pediatric Dentistry

For your child’s pediatric dentistry needs in the Greater Las Vegas, NV Valley, call in the experts of Smile Reef and let us assist you!