Charcoal is everywhere at the moment. It’s in our facemasks, our deodorant, our lip balm and even our lattes – but perhaps the most bizarre place we’ve seen this particular ingredient pop up is in our toothpaste.
I challenge you to scroll through the Instagram ‘explore’ section without coming across some celebrity promoting charcoal toothpaste as a ‘miracle’ beauty product for those who want a brighter smile. However, some dentists have started speaking out against this latest trend saying that – quite apart from making teeth whiter – it may actually be causing tooth decay.
The Oral Health Foundation is worried that consumers are using charcoal products – loved by the likes of Nicole Scherzinger – without fully knowing what they contain. A statement from the charity reads:
“[We are] examining these products following the publication of research showing that there is insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based oral health products.”
Experts are concerned that consumers are following the trend blindly and as a result are not getting enough of the ingredients that actively protect their teeth – potentially causing damage such as tooth decay. Speaking on this subject Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said:
“The number of charcoal toothpastes and powders on the market is growing rapidly and are being marketed at through insta-famous celebrity endorsements, but we believe shoppers may be being misled. Much of the time the celebrity has had professional tooth whitening and their white smiles are not a direct result of using the product.”
“From a whitening perspective, there may be anecdotal evidence of their whitening potential but any effect they have will likely be superficial. Many toothpastes which claim to whiten our teeth are simply removing surface stains, and will not offer the long lasting bright white smiles which many users may be looking for, or being promised though advertising.”