By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell
Lots of people ask me about the best charcoal toothpaste to use if they want to whiten their teeth. When I first heard about activated charcoal toothpastes, I was skeptical. After all, charcoal is black, so how will it whiten teeth? And wouldn't it leave some of that blackness on your teeth and gums afterwards?
As more and more of my patients raised these questions, I decided I ought to look into whether I could recommend activated charcoal toothpastes - and then which one is the best charcoal toothpaste.
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SO, what's the thinking behind a charcoal-based toothpaste?
It's the very fine grains of charcoal in the toothpaste that actually give it the stain-removing (and therefore whitening) effect that we are looking for. The charcoal acts as a very fine abrasive which gently removes surface staining on your teeth.
This will obviously works best for people who have discolored teeth from drinking black tea, coffee, red wine, and also staining from smoking. If you already have teeth that are quite white, without any surface staining, then you may not notice much change in color from using an activated charcoal toothpaste.
BUT there are some other very good reasons to use the one that I recommend as the best charcoal toothpaste!
What other reasons could there be for using a charcoal-based toothpaste?
The best charcoal toothpaste is called Cali White, and it has a number of additional features that are beneficial. Let's take a look;
1. Because the paste uses activated charcoal to gently remove surface stains from your teeth, it does not contain any peroxide. Other normal whitening toothpastes may contain peroxide to get a whitening effect, but this can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. Cali White does not cause any tooth sensitivity. Cali White also contains baking soda to help with stain removal.
2. Cali White is fluoride-free. As a dentist, I'm supposed to say that every toothpaste should contain fluoride. But I also recognize that many folk are uncomfortable with the idea of accidently swallowing fluoride, and prefer a fluoride-free toothpaste.
A compromise, if you want the stain-removing effects of activated charcoal but also want some fluoride in your toothpaste, is to use Cali White in the mornings and a conventional fluoride toothpaste inthe evening.
3. Cali White does not contain SLS. This is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and it is in just about every toothpaste on the planet. It's added because it makes the toothpaste froth up, so we get that foamy sensation in our mouths when we brush. It's in shampoo, for the same reason. Go have a look at the ingredients on your shampoo bottle!
BUT there's a downside to SLS. It seems to trigger mouth ulcers in people who are sensitive to it. It's basically another chemical in toothpaste that doesn't actually help in the cleaning process. SO I believe that SLS-free is the way to go.
4. Cali White contains coconut oil. This was another thing I was skeptical about at first. But the coconut oil has been shown to have a beneficial effect on your gums - it absorbs the fat-soluble toxins in your mouth that come from bacteria in dental plaque. By reducing these fat-soluble toxins, it reduces gum inflammation. This makes sense, and I think it's a great feature of this toothpaste. And don't worry - there's NO oily taste or feeling in your mouth when brushing!
5. Cali White also does not contain triclosan, which is another chemical commonly found in conventional "gum problem" toothpastes.
6. Cali White is also suitable for vegans, and is also gluten-free.
When I tried using Cali White for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth consistency - no gritty sensation at all. I wasn't aware of any oily feel either. The taste is minty, from the natural peppermint oil in the paste.
The best charcoal toothpaste?
In my opinion, it's definitely Cali White. If you are looking for a natural toothpaste without all the chemicals found in normal toothpastes, then Cali White fits the bill. I like the stain-removal effect to get natural tooth whitening, and I like the coconut oil for reducing gum inflammation.
Cali White is suitable for everyone, including children. It gets my vote for Best Charcoal Toothpaste!
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