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Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe for My Child?

August 10, 2023

Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe for My Child?

Charcoal toothpaste continues to grow in popularity as an alternative, all-natural teeth whitening solution. However, concerns arise about its safety for children and even adults. Our team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry does not recommend charcoal toothpaste for our young patients, and here’s a look at why.

What Is Charcoal Toothpaste?

Charcoal in charcoal toothpaste is different from what you use for barbecues. It is actually activated charcoal, a fine-grain powder made of wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances. Emergency rooms often use activated charcoal to treat poisoning or drug overdoses. That’s because its porous, sponge-like nature helps remove certain toxins from the gut, preventing them from entering the bloodstream. 

Many believe charcoal toothpaste’s highly absorbent properties and sponge-like action lift tooth enamel stains. However, no scientific evidence has established any benefits of charcoal toothpaste for you or your little one’s smile. In fact, it has been found to do more harm than good. 

How Does Charcoal Toothpaste Harm Your Child’s Teeth?

Activated charcoal has an abrasive texture, which, over time, can wear down your child’s tooth enamel. In the short run, your little one’s teeth may appear whiter and brighter. However, as the tooth enamel wears, it exposes the underlying dentin, which is yellowish in color. That results in teeth that are permanently dull and yellow in appearance! 

Aside from their appearance, teeth with worn, weak enamel aren’t well protected, often leading to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth decay. The charcoal particles can get trapped in the gums, irritating them and causing inflammation. Charcoal-based toothpaste can cause long-term damage to perfectly healthy teeth and gums. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) does not approve of the use of any activated charcoal toothpaste. Our team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry also advises against using charcoal toothpaste or any toothpaste containing abrasives. 

Are There Any Safe Teeth Whitening Toothpaste Options?

There are some ADA-approved whitening toothpastes available for purchase at your local drugstore. However, we highly recommend waiting until your child’s permanent teeth have emerged, around age 14, before starting any whitening treatments. Make sure to consult with your trusted team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry before choosing a whiting method to prevent damage to your child’s tooth enamel.

The best way to keep your child’s teeth whiter is to maintain good oral hygiene. A healthy, cavity-free mouth translates to bright smiles. Encourage your child to brush and floss daily to remove plaque and food debris. Don’t forget to visit Jet Set Smiles for your little one’s twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings. We will monitor your child’s oral health and treat any problems as they develop. Our professional cleanings will remove surface stains, leaving your child with a bright and healthy smile. 

Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in Phoenix, AZ

Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is happy to answer any questions about teeth whitening options for kids. Dr. Patel and his kid-friendly team are committed to helping your child develop healthy habits that lead to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. We invite you to call us at 480-284-5076 to schedule your appointment today.