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toothpaste ingredients

Toothpaste Ingredients and Your Health

The toothpaste market is projected to reach $36.98 billion by 2024. Valued at $26.09 billion in 2018, the industry is clearly booming.

So if you feel like your head’s been swimming with toothpaste choices, you’re not imagining things.

While we put our trust in the industry to give us products that are good for our oral hygiene, are they really? Wondering what exactly the toothpaste ingredients are in the products you use? Read on to find out.

What Do We Even Use Toothpaste For?

Let’s tackle this question first. You may think you’re using toothpaste just to make your breath minty fresh, but it does a lot more than that.

Not only does the act of brushing stimulate our gums to be stronger, but it also removes plaque that builds up during the day. Plaque is a small layer of bacteria on your teeth that feeds on food remnants.

If plaque is left on your teeth to multiply, it can lead to tooth decay. In turn, this means you have cavities and will need to have them filled.

Many kinds of toothpaste use detergents, abrasives, and foaming agents to aid in cleaning your teeth. However, some may not be too good for you and may actually damage your teeth.

Keep reading to find out what some common ingredients in toothpaste are.

Common Toothpaste Ingredients

Below, we’ll explore some of the common ingredients found in toothpaste and if they’re good or bad for you. That way, you’ll know whether you’ve chosen a good one to load up on your electric toothbrush.

Fluoride

This is a well-known ingredient that’s found in not only toothpaste but also our drinking water. It was previously believed that fluoride had completely positive effects on our health, as it helps strengthen the enamel on our teeth.

However, there’s been recent doubts regarding fluoride. It’s been brought to light that overexposure to fluoride can cause some health problems, such as fluorosis.

The good news is, if you use your toothpaste as recommended, these health problems shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have small children in the house and are worried about them swallowing toothpaste, you should look for fluoride-free products instead.

Triclosan

Triclosan is used for its antibacterial purposes. All sorts of toothpastes claim it fights oral bacteria, but does it really?

The FDA seems to think so. They claim that back in 1997, they performed their own assessment of triclosan and found it effective.

However, it’s been found to contribute to antibiotic resistance. It may also be so good at doing its job that it eliminates good bacteria as well.

While the jury’s still out on this ingredient, you may be better off using a triclosan-free toothpaste. The good news is, most of the toothpastes on the market don’t contain this ingredient.

Glycerol

Glycerol is an ingredient commonly used in products to keep things moist. So you’ve probably seen this listed as an ingredient in things like peanut butter and yogurt.

This is another ingredient that’s regarded as safe to use. Just be careful, as ingesting too much of it can also cause gastrointestinal issues. You shouldn’t be swallowing toothpaste anyway, so the concerns of GI problems with the last 3 ingredients shouldn’t be an issue.

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is an abrasive that aids in cleaning plaque and stains from your teeth. It may also help give you a brighter and whiter smile.

In general, calcium carbonate is an ingredient that doesn’t harm your oral health. While it’s strong enough to take plaque and stains off your teeth, it’s not so overpowering that it strips your teeth of their enamel.

Because of this, you shouldn’t have to worry about switching to toothpastes that don’t have calcium carbonate.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

As a detergent, SLS is what makes toothpaste foam in your mouth. There was concern of it being a carcinogen and harmful to your health, but studies show it’s safe to use.

SLS may or may not cause canker sores and mouth ulcers for a select few people. If you have issues with either, you may want to try SLS-free toothpastes to see if that helps. Do be aware that most SLS-free toothpastes are also fluoride-free.

Parabens

Parabens are an ingredient used to both preserve toothpaste and stop contamination. But parabens have been found to contribute to breast cancer cell growth. It’s also linked to lower sperm count in mice, which means it may have the same effect on humans.

Finding paraben-free toothpaste may be a bit tricky. The tubes won’t say outright they’re paraben-free, but if they say they don’t have artificial preservatives, chances are, they don’t have parabens.

Sorbitol and Xylitol

Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener and xylitol is a sugar alcohol. Both of these ingredients are used to make toothpaste taste better.

Both of these ingredients are sweeteners, which means they won’t contribute to tooth decay. Because of this, they’re completely safe to use.

However, some people may experience gastrointestinal problems with high amounts of either, so if you’re sensitive, either be aware of how much you’re ingesting or switch to products that don’t have these ingredients.

Be Aware of What Toothpaste Ingredients You’re Using

Now that you know some of the toothpaste ingredients on the market, take a closer look at the packaging before you purchase your next tube. If you have any sensitivities, you may want to try cutting out some of the ingredients on this list to see if that helps!

Do you have any other burning dental questions? Then check out our Ask Dr. Greg section!

Are Electric Toothbrushes Bad for Gums?

Electric Toothbrushes Bad for Gums?


Although we take toothbrushes for granted, the manual version we know today didn’t show up until 1938. And electric toothbrushes, known for their advanced functionalities, are relatively new to the consumer market. The bristles of these toothbrushes efficiently rotate or vibrate, helping remove plaque buildup from the gums and teeth. However, when it comes to switching from regular toothbrushes to electric ones, people are often skeptical of the powered versions. Consumers often question if they might be bad for gums in the long run. Should you be concerned? 

The answer is a resounding“no.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

To begin with, the importance of brushing is paramount in our daily lives. A toothbrush does its job by removing plaque or food leftovers from our teeth. This action stops the growth of plaque-causing bacteria in our mouth. When we don’t brush, the chances of plaque buildup in our teeth and gums increase. If plaque is not removed consistently, it might lead to gingivitis or gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral problems.


What Really Causes Bad Gums?

Inflamed gums and gum diseases are primarily caused by the following:

  • Poor oral health care practices: This includes skipping regular oral practices such as brushing and flossing. Wrong brushing techniques also play a crucial role in gum recession.
  •  Dental injury: If a tooth or gum injury is left untreated, it can lead to serious oral problems, including deterioration of gums.
  •  Genetics: Gum recession, gingivitis, and other dental problems are often hereditary. If either of your parents struggled with gum recession, you are more likely to have the same oral disease.  
  •  Bruxism: Bruxism is a condition in which you clench, grind, or gnash your teeth. This may be done unconsciously (awake bruxism) or during sleep (sleep bruxism). In the long run, this can lead to gum recession. 
  • Dental alignment: If you have irregularly positioned teeth, you face a higher possibility of developing gum problems. The asymmetrical alignment of teeth makes it tougher for you to properly clean crowded areas.
  • Forceful brushing and flossing: It is important to brush your teeth in the proper manner and not simply using force. In fact, aggressive brushing and flossing can injure gums and amplify problems. An excess amount of pressure while trying to help your teeth can also aggravate existing gum problems. 


According to different clinical studies, the regular use of an electric toothbrush prevents many oral problems. Research also shows they help to effectively reverse existing ones. 

Many of the best electric toothbrushes come with pressure sensors and timers that let you brush your teeth for the required time span without being too harsh on your gums. They help prevent plaque formation, which decreases the chances of gum damage and disease. 

Electric toothbrushes are also very helpful to people during orthodontic care, especially if they’re wearing braces. Due to their easy usage, these brushes can remove debris in and around orthodontic appliances. According to experts, regular brushing with this device reduces plaque by 21% and recession by 11%. And with proper usage, an electric brush doesn’t hurt the tooth enamel: It contributes to overall oral health.

A Clear Advantage for Your Gums

So, what makes electric toothbrushes superior to the manual ones? Here are some of the unique features that make them ideal, especially for gums:

  • Built-In Timer: Dentists usually recommend brushing for 2 minutes at a time. However, most individuals who use manual toothbrushes spend about 45 seconds per session on average. But with electric brushes, you don’t have to keep track of the time on your own. Just set a timer of 2 minutes on the electric brush and let it engage in thorough cleaning. Once the specific time span is over, the brush turns off automatically. An electric toothbrush produces 31,000 strokes per minute! This automated action removes plaque and bacteria from the mouth in a better manner. This really keeps gums healthy!
  • Pressure Sensor: Another interesting feature of electric toothbrushes is their in-built technology that senses the pressure applied. So, if you are pressing your toothbrush too hard, it will let you know about the same and stop you from brushing aggressively. This ensures careful brushing and prevents injury to the gums.
  • Orthodontic Brush Heads: Similar to the manual brushes, the brush heads of electric toothbrushes must be replaced every 3 months. In these brushes, one can easily replace the brush heads. Here, you also have the freedom to pick the bristle placement according to your needs. If you have sensitive gums, the bristle’s positioning and softness ensure optimum plaque removal without injuring your gums. This helps prevent the deterioration of the critical foundation around your teeth.

Bottom Line

Toothbrushes have come a long way, and an electric toothbrush offers a modern twist to lifetime dental health. With proper techniques and appropriate brushing time, electric toothbrushes clean your teeth effectively. And they keep destructive gum problems at bay. Additionally, these toothbrushes make brushing easy and promote better cavity removal. They are safe and convenient to use as the brush does all the work. You simply have to guide the brush along the surfaces of your gum and tooth.

Do your gums a favor: Just use it!

***



Source Links:

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/electric-toothbrush-vs-manual#electric-pros 

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/electric-toothbrush-vs-manual#care 

https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/solutions/electric-toothbrushes/how-electric-toothbrushes-help-prevent-gum-disease 

https://dentaldorks.com/best-electric-toothbrush-receding-gums-reviews/ 

https://www.electricteeth.co.uk/electric-toothbrush-gum-recession/ 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095 

Why Floss

A Daily Question: Why Floss?

Not many people enjoy the idea of flossing every day, and they wonder why they really need to floss. For some, it just comes across as too much work. Every three months when you visit your dentist, you’ll get a few minutes of advice on the importance of flossing your teeth. But nevertheless, it might float by with a yawn. If the traditional way of flossing your teeth comes across as too much of a task for you, opt for interdental brushes, dental flosses, and even electrical flossing devices.

Flossing plays a vital role in contributing to that bright, healthy smile of yours. The question is, “Why floss?

 

waterpik water flosser

 

The Importance of Regular Flossing

According to research published by the Journal of Dental Hygiene, flossing and brushing your teeth regularly can help significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis. The prolonged buildup of plaque leads to the formation of tartar on your teeth. Moreover, there are regions of the mouth where your toothbrush might not reach. Flossing lets you remove the stuck food particles from these areas.

Deteriorating oral health might not seem like a very visible factor. Thus, people often tend to ignore it for a long period until symptoms develop and they experience discomfort.

Here are a few common reasons why flossing is vital for your oral health:

It Protects the Gums

Unhealthy gums can highly increase the chances of you needing extensive treatment and even losing your teeth. You might think brushing your teeth twice daily can prevent all kinds of problems, but it’s not always enough. Flossing forms a part of your regime for good oral hygiene. People suffering from bleeding or sensitive gums often fear flossing and tend to avoid it. But flossing can strengthen your gums and prevent bone loss, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Flossing Stops Tartar Buildup

The most uncomfortable part of a dental visit is when your dentist scrapes the tartar off your teeth. Tartar is a stubborn buildup of plaque along the gumline that once formed, cannot be removed without professional dental help. Flossing removes plaque from your teeth in its initial stage of formation. You can prevent the accumulation of tartar in your mouth by tending to plaque at its preliminary stage before it hardens up.

Prevents the Development of Other Diseases

The effect of dental diseases can go beyond mild discoloration of your teeth, bad breath, and a feeling of discomfort. Medical researches show that the presence of bacteria in the mouth can adversely harm the rest of your body as well. Respiratory illness, diabetes, and heart disease are a few common problems that might arise due to unhealthy oral hygiene. As long ago as 2003, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraged public health initiatives to begin addressing oral health as a way to control major health issues and life-threatening diseases. These diseases tend to effect multiple organs of the human body.

Saves the Pinch in your Pocket

Still wondering, Why Floss? In an age where health costs are sky-high, and the benefits of health insurance are diminishing, taking appropriate steps to bring down your medical expenses pays. A report published by Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) suggested that children who had their first dental checkup before the age of one year had incurred 40% lower dental costs as compared to the ones who visited the dentist after that age.

 

Electric Water Flosser

 

Challenges Associated with Flossing

One of the most common challenges associated people face while flossing is gum pain. Improper flossing technique often causes minor damages to the gums and results in soreness. The same is applicable in case of people with tooth sensitivity as well. Gum diseases are one of the most significant causes of tooth sensitivity. It is best to avoid using traditional house floss in such cases and look for versions designed to cater to specific needs of your oral health.

People often tend to use a floss incorrectly. Wrap the floss around the neck of each tooth. Pass the floss up and down between the spaces of your teeth, instead of operating it in a saw-like motion.

Choosing the Right Dental Floss

Flossing begins with choosing the right kind of floss that is best for you and your dental condition.
Here are a few categorizations of flosses according to a few different dental conditions:

  • Large gaps between the teeth – Super Floss; Dental Tapes
  • Less space between your teeth – Waxed flosses that are easier to slide between tight spaces
  • Wearing bridges or braces – Flosses with threaders; Sponge Floss

Standard floss might be the best option while traveling while using a quality water flosser at home. Water flossers are a recent favorite among people extremely aware of their oral hygiene. The oral irrigator makes use of pulsating high-pressure water to remove debris and plaque below the gumline.

If you are seriously considering investing in oral care, Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser provides a great pick from the category. The device comes with a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA) that adds on to its authenticity. The flosser also offers 10 distinct pressure settings with a pressure range from 10 – 100 PSI, with 90 seconds of water capacity. It efficiently penetrates the gaps and cleanses between the teeth. A perfect device with individuals with braces, periodontal pockets, and crowns.

Irrespective of the method of flossing used, cleaning the areas between your teeth should be part of your daily routine. The use of a water flosser is the secret of many patients with impeccable dental health. How ever you do it, the effort pays!

3 Simple Tips to Prevent Cavities

3 Simple Tips to Prevent Cavities

Cavities are a form of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when bacteria feed on food particles and sugars that are left behind on teeth. The bacteria release acid as they feed, and the acid breaks down the tooth enamel and eventually causes the teeth to decay. Knowing how to prevent cavities will save you a lot of time and pain at the dentist office. Here are some tips to help.

Brush Often

The best way to prevent a cavity from forming is to brush your teeth often. It is best to brush them after every meal, but most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day. Brushing removes food particles and sugar from the teeth so bacteria cannot feed on them and therefore, cannot release acid. The type of toothbrush you use is important too. Dentists recommend electric toothbrushes because they can remove food and plaque more thoroughly and leave your mouth feeling cleaner.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

A dentist can tell you how to prevent cavities better than anyone. If you visit your dentist often, he or she can tell you what parts of your teeth you are not brushing properly or if you have cavities forming. A dentist can help you stop cavities before they form and protect yourself from more serious dental problems. Your dentist can also recommend the best electric toothbrush that can help you fight tooth decay and clean your teeth better.

Floss

Flossing is another necessary task that can help you stop tooth decay. Floss gets between teeth where food particles can get stuck. Since many toothbrushes cannot remove these particles, they are often left for the bacteria to feed on. Flossing keeps the space in between your teeth clean and bacteria free. An electric toothbrush can also help you remove food particles between the teeth. When you combine a good electric toothbrush with a proper flossing technique, you are more likely to have better oral health and fewer cavities.

Now that you know how to prevent cavities be sure to take action so you can have healthy and clean teeth throughout your lifetime. If you want to get your teeth as clean as possible, it’s a good idea to use an electric toothbrush. Your dentist can help you choose the right one and show you how to brush with an electric toothbrush properly, so you have less dental problems.

Best Travel Size Waterpik

We have all heard the dentist say; brushing isn’t enough, you have to floss. Many people skip this vital step in their oral care claiming that flossing is time-consuming or that it hurts their teeth. In fact, one in five Americans admit that they don’t floss at all and half of the population doesn’t floss daily.

If you want to keep your pearly whites intact later in life, it’s probably time you start flossing. Orthodontists and dentists recommend a water flosser if you have braces, implants or a bridge. They suggest it should become a habitual part of your oral care regime.

Clinical studies of water flossers have found that this is fifty percent more effective at reducing gingivitis then traditional brushing. They are also almost thirty percent more effective at removing plaque. Water flossers can also significantly reduce gum bleeding than just brushing. By using a Waterpik after you brush for just one minute a day you gain all the benefits of flossing your dentist has told you about.

A few years ago the only Waterpiks on the market were countertop versions. They were bulky and had to be plugged in to use. Waterpiks now come in a more travel-friendly size with a rechargeable battery. A search for “water flosser” on Amazon yielded over 2,000 results and “Waterpik” gave a total of 900. There are so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to begin looking? Fret not, we have you covered, we combed through the available models to give you this selection of the best travel-sized WaterPiks available today.

Water Flosser Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator - Portable and Rechargeable IPX7 Waterproof 3 Modes Water Flosser with Cleanable Water Tank for Home and Travel, Braces & Bridges Care
Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser Rechargeable Portable Oral irrigator for Travel & Home - Cordless Advanced, Wp-562 Black
Waterpik Sidekick Portable Water Flosser for Travel & Home, Black/Copper
Water Flosser Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator - Portable and Rechargeable IPX7 Waterproof 3 Modes Water Flosser with Cleanable Water Tank for Home and Travel, Braces & Bridges Care
Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser Rechargeable Portable Oral irrigator for Travel & Home - Cordless Advanced, Wp-562 Black
Waterpik Sidekick Portable Water Flosser for Travel & Home, Black/Copper
$39.99
$69.99
$99.99
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-
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Water Flosser Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator - Portable and Rechargeable IPX7 Waterproof 3 Modes Water Flosser with Cleanable Water Tank for Home and Travel, Braces & Bridges Care
Water Flosser Professional Cordless Dental Oral Irrigator - Portable and Rechargeable IPX7 Waterproof 3 Modes Water Flosser with Cleanable Water Tank for Home and Travel, Braces & Bridges Care
$39.99
-
Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser Rechargeable Portable Oral irrigator for Travel & Home - Cordless Advanced, Wp-562 Black
Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser Rechargeable Portable Oral irrigator for Travel & Home - Cordless Advanced, Wp-562 Black
$69.99
-
Waterpik Sidekick Portable Water Flosser for Travel & Home, Black/Copper
Waterpik Sidekick Portable Water Flosser for Travel & Home, Black/Copper
$99.99
-

1. The MOSPRO IPX7 Dental Oral Irrigator

Amazon Echo Dot

The Mospro IPX7 is an excellent buy if you already have a water flosser at home and you're looking for a travel companion. It is affordable with a long-lasting battery. This water flosser features a waterproof design. Meaning you can use it in the shower or worrying about the possibility of a splash back while using it. The IPX7 has a 200 ml removable water tank for easy filling and cleaning.

With three modes for cleaning, gentle, normal and pulse it can deliver pressure anywhere from 30 psi to 100 psi. It charges in 4 hours via USB for universal charging and can hold that charge for seven to ten days when used two to three minutes a day. If you are looking for a higher powered device, this may not be the choice for you. It is a solid choice if you are new to water flossing or looking for a travel flosser.

Pros

  • A long-lasting battery
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable
  • ​USB charging
  • ​Removable water reservoir

Cons

  • Could be a bit mild for someone who needs a serious cleaning power. 

2. Waterpik WP-562

Amazon Echo Dot

Like all other Waterpiks, this travel-friendly model comes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. The Waterpik WP-562 is a Cordless Water Flosser with three pressure settings. It gives a 45-second flossing session before needing to be refilled. It also comes with four different styles of flossing tips; two classic tips, one plaque seeker and one orthodontic tip. The tip has 360-degree rotation ability, making it easier to get into every crevice between your teeth.

The WP-562 has a rapid magnetic charging system and a LED battery indicator to tell you when it needs to be recharged. With its global voltage compatibility of 100 - 240VAC, you shouldn’t have any issues charging it wherever you may roam.

The flosser holds a charge for three days to a week when it's used for 2 to 3 minutes daily. We recommend you take care not to leave this Waterpik plugged in for too long though because it may cause your battery to stop working. This Waterpik model is waterproof so you shouldn’t be afraid of splash back and you can take it into the shower.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Magnetic charging
  • Inclusive user controls
  • 45 seconds of continuous flossing
  • LED Battery indicator

Cons

  • The battery doesn’t last very long

3. Waterpik Sidekick Water Flosser

Amazon Echo Dot

This fancy looking Waterpik packs the promise of a countertop flosser with the portability of a travel flosser. Complete with a 13-ounce reservoir, it offers 60 seconds of flossing time. The unit has five different pressure settings from 10-100 psi, capable of adjusting to anyone's needs.

The sidekick offers 1400 Pulses per minute with a swivel handle flossing stylus making it feel comfortable while reaching between every tooth. The design is unique and aesthetically pleasing while still being compact. The sidekick is more of a box in shape than other flossers. Everything tucks in nicely into the case, the unit, and flossing stylus, as well as the power cord. This unit is ideal for home and travel taking up very little counter space.

Sadly, there is no shower flossing with this device; it is water resistant, but not waterproof. The battery of the WaterPik sidekick will last seven days on one charge if you use it once a day for one minute and has a LED light to indicate your flosser needs to be charged. While the battery doesn’t last as long as some models, this is the perfect Waterpik for home use and traveling. The sidekick also comes with a premium storage case and a three-year warranty.

Pros

  • Strong as a countertop flosser
  • Ultra-portable
  • 60 seconds flossing time
  • Five pressure settings
  • Waterproof storage case

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Verdict

After reviewing a large selection of travel-friendly WaterPiks, our top pick is the WaterPik Sidekick water flosser. This handy square shaped flosser is the perfect buy for an all-around flosser for both home and travel. The sidekick has excellent specs, and you are sure to be happy with its action.

The WaterPik WP-562 is a more traditional travel flosser in shape and design. We love that it is compact and comes with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Although it has a smaller tank and a battery that doesn’t last as long as other models it is still a great buy for someone on the go. You should be happy with the WP-562’s flexibility and adjustability.

The Mospro IPX7 has the smallest tank on our list but the longest lasting battery. Even though you may have to refill the reservoir more than once in a session, this flosser still has fantastic action. You won’t be disappointed in this flosser if your looking for a travel-friendly device.

Are Charcoal Toothbrushes Safe: A Buyer's Guide

Are Charcoal Toothbrushes Safe: A Buyer’s Guide

Charcoal use in oral and dental health care isn’t a new concept. In fact, your grandparents or even great-grandparents might’ve used charcoal to clean their teeth before commercial toothpaste became available. Today, toothpaste and toothbrushes are infused with charcoal and marketed to offer deeper cleaning.  But are charcoal toothbrushes safe?

You’ve probably heard about the effectiveness of charcoal-infused toothpaste in teeth whitening. Charcoal exhibits absorptive properties that help remove surface stains, balance oral pH, and improve overall oral hygiene. Can charcoal toothbrushes achieve that too? Are they more effective than regular toothbrushes?

Here we’ll take a look at what charcoal toothbrushes are made of, what differentiates them from regular toothbrushes, and their benefits and disadvantages. We’ll also check out a few important points to consider when choosing a good toothbrush of any kind.

Are Charcoal Toothbrushes Safe?

To evaluate the safety of charcoal toothbrushes, let’s look into their components and how they work.

1. The Components

A charcoal toothbrush looks exactly like a regular toothbrush and the only obvious difference is the bristles. As the name implies, a charcoal toothbrush is made of bristles with charcoal infused into them. It attempts to trap the bacteria in the bristles while you brush your teeth rather than just forcing the bacteria around the mouth.

Another difference is in the handle. Compared to traditional toothbrushes, the handle of a charcoal toothbrush can be made of wood or a combination of wood and plastic. Component-wise, charcoal toothbrushes are safe, and there’s no harm in trying them out.

2. The Principle

The use of charcoal (or activated charcoal) in dental hygiene has sparked a vivid debate about the marketing claims and its safety. Although heralded with superpowers for teeth whitening, there’s no scientific research to prove its effects on teeth and overall oral hygiene.

The same is true with a charcoal toothbrush. Manufacturers believe that charcoal toothpaste can do wonders, so charcoal toothbrushes can too. The activated charcoal integrated into the toothbrushes is assumed to absorb stains, bacteria, and plaque.  Since charcoal displays detoxifying characteristics, that benefit is suggested in brushes.

This assumption could be correct for the first uses of a charcoal toothbrush, but after a couple of uses, the “activation” would disappear. Further studies are still on-going to back up these assumptions.

How do dentists feel about a charcoal toothbrush? Most of them say that charcoal toothbrushes are a big marketing ploy. Without any clear regulation, how would consumers know that the black bristles are infused with charcoal and not just ordinary black-colored nylon bristles? And without any standards in place, the activated charcoal’s abrasive elements should be used sparingly to avoid enamel damage.  So “Are charcoal toothbrushes safe?” Probably not the best choice in light of the other options.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Charcoal Toothbrush?

The advantages of a charcoal toothbrush are somewhat the same with charcoal toothpaste. Rather than brushing the activated charcoal around the mouth, you use the brush that already has the activated charcoal.

Here are some of the intended benefits of a charcoal toothbrush:

1. Lessens Tooth Surface Stain

The most common causes of yellowish stain on tooth surface are the dark-colored food and beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine. The activated charcoal in the bristles helps absorb those elements that stick on the tooth surface. With regular brushing, your teeth become whiter as these stains are removed.

2. Aids in the Reduction of Bad Breath

The activated carbon-infused bristles also absorb the bacteria that cause bad breath. Unlike mints that mask the odor inside the mouth, a charcoal toothbrush eradicates the bacteria that create the smell, which results in more satisfying after-clean feel.

3. Helps Prevent Plaque

Activated charcoal has a porous texture that when you use it inside the mouth, it absorbs the debris and bacteria more effectively than a regular toothbrush. It sticks to these elements at a microscopic level and flushes them out when you rinse. As a result, your teeth are clean, preventing cavities that cause tooth decay and deterioration.

What Are the Downsides of Using a Charcoal Toothbrush?

Just like other charcoal products or most products in general, improper use of a charcoal toothbrush can lead to side effects. Among the disadvantages of using charcoal toothbrush are:

  • It’s not as effective as charcoal toothpaste or powder.
  • Compared to regular toothbrushes, charcoal toothbrush products are not usually found in local drugstores or supermarkets. They are relatively new, and some consumers are still having doubts about buying them.
  • Charcoal toothbrushes are usually more expensive than the regular ones.
  • Although the use of a charcoal toothbrush has a lot of benefits, there is a lack of scientific studies to support these claims. More research about the benefits or long-term effects needs to be conducted.

How to Choose a Good Toothbrush?

The market is bombarded with different kinds of toothbrushes from wooden, electric, to charcoal-infused. So, which features does the job in cleaning teeth most effectively without causing harm to the tooth enamel? Let’s find out.

1. Bristles

Whichever kind of toothbrush it is, the bristles shouldn’t abrade your tooth enamel.  Hard bristles can cause sensitivity, gum inflammation, and erosion. Choose bristles that are suitable for the strength of your teeth and how you brush your teeth.

Soft bristles are the safest and most comfortable, but soft bristles don’t allow you to brush any way you want. Brushing should be done gently to prevent damage on teeth and gums.

2. Size

The size of the head of the toothbrush should be small enough to reach all surfaces of the teeth. Larger heads might be hard to control to brush hard-to-reach zones such as the sides of the molars. The recommended size for an adult toothbrush is 0.5-inch wide and one-inch tall. Also, consider the handle so that you can grip it easily in your hand.

3. Seal of Approval

Toothbrushes also undergo a quality check for safety and effectiveness. Ask your dentist about his or her recommendation or look for toothbrushes that come with the American Dental Association seal.

4. Manual or Electric?

The electric toothbrush is an innovative way to clean the teeth. Its vibration helps remove the bacteria and prevent plaque buildup more effectively than a traditional toothbrush. It also comes with various brushing modes depending on your teeth sensitivity and strength. A decent model may cost a bit more, but it’s usually worth every penny.

Final Words

As long as you brush your teeth properly and regularly, you will be able to prevent cavities, bad breath, and inflammation. Giving a charcoal toothbrush a try won’t hurt and is still considered safe as long as you use it appropriately and observe oral hygiene. Just don’t expect miraculous results, and be sure to use an approved toothpaste!

Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth: The Secret Finally Exposed

Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth: The Secret Finally Exposed

A host of companies boast that charcoal is effective at teeth whitening, but some people think that brushing teeth with “bbq material” doesn’t make sense. If it works, why does charcoal whiten teeth? What are its active agents that help whiten your teeth?

When you hear the word “charcoal”, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the black chunks that you use for grilling barbeques. They are rather different. When charcoal is heated in the presence of gas, the charcoal becomes activated charcoal. This kind of charcoal contains more porosity, which make it effective in absorbing stains, dirt, and toxic chemicals.

With its absorption properties, activated charcoal has been used since the early times to treat accidental poisonings. In addition, it can also reduce cholesterol levels, regulate bile flow during pregnancy, and relieve intestinal gas. It is also commonly used in water filters to help remove unwanted water particles.

Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth?

Teeth often appear yellowish or dull from pigments in coffee, red wine, tobacco, or other dark-colored food and drinks. Activated charcoal absorbs this stain from the tooth surface and makes it appear whiter.

That is why charcoal-infused toothpaste is popular. Aside from stains, the activated charcoal binds in tartar, stains, bacteria, and viruses. As such, it may help prevent bad breath, help remove plaque, and improve overall oral health.

Charcoal doesn’t help whiten the teeth in every case. Stains may be deeply seated in the enamel layer. In addition, stains caused by medication, trauma, weak enamel, and excessive use of fluoride won’t be touched by charcoal products.  Peroxide-based whitening products become the best bet in this case, and boast a long history of safety and effectiveness.

What Are the Benefits of Brushing with Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is negatively charged, so positively-charged particles cling to it. Gases, toxins, chemicals, and free radicals considered harmful to the body are among the positively-charged particles. This basic function helps explain why charcoal toothpaste may offer interesting benefits.

Here are a few possible benefits to consider:

1. Helps Eliminate Acidic Plaque and Freshen Breath

The activated charcoal sticks to the acidic elements inside the mouth and helps excrete them out of the body. This binding action increases the pH level of the mouth, making it less acidic. It lessens the buildup of toxic plaque and helps prevent bad breath.

2. Aids in Improving Overall Health

Maintaining a balanced oral microbiome is ideal. The appropriate use of charcoal toothpaste may help keep this balance. In effect, the immune system of the mouth improves and helps prevent further damage to the teeth.

3. Helps Boost Your Confidence

Seeing your teeth covered in gooey black toothpaste makes it pretty hard to believe that it can actually result in whiter teeth. Being rich in porous properties, surface stains cling to the activated charcoal, leaving the teeth to appear whiter and cleaner. Whiter teeth leave you feeling more confident and capable of facing anything.

4. Cost-Effective

Aside from its claimed effectiveness, one of the major advantages of using charcoal toothpaste is that it won’t break the bank. Products such as commercial teeth whitening toothpaste, trays, whitening strips, and teeth whitening treatments are typically more expensive.  Some of them may also be more effective.

While toothpaste may cost significantly less than professional whitening products, don’t expect the same results. But you don’t have a lot to lose by trying a tube.

5. Natural Formula

You should look for charcoal toothpaste that does not contain fillers, chemicals, and additives that might detract its effectiveness and harm your health. All-natural charcoal toothpaste doesn’t pose a threat to the overall wellness of the mouth and body.

What Are the Precautions to be Taken When Brushing with Charcoal Toothpaste?

Although charcoal toothpaste is believed to be safe on the overall health, precautions need to be taken when using it,. Misusing charcoal toothpaste will cause side effects and possibly harm the teeth instead.

1. Do Not Use Charcoal Toothpaste Every Day

Charcoal toothpaste can be too aggressive on the tooth enamel. It has abrasive properties that can strip not only the surface stains but also the enamel. When this happens, there will be teeth sensitivity, and bacteria can damage the enamel. Dentists advise brushing with charcoal toothpaste two to three days a week to avoid these serious effects.

2. Do Not Brush Aggressively

Even with a regular toothbrush, brushing too hard or using hard bristles increases the chance of enamel erosion. This is why dentists advise the use of soft-bristled toothbrushes and gentle circular-motion cleaning.

Rather than brushing the charcoal toothpaste on the teeth, it’s advisable and safer to just smudge it on the teeth. Let it sit for a few minutes to let it absorb stains and other unwanted particles. This technique is definitely recommended for people who deal with enamel erosion caused by medications, illnesses, etc.

3. Use FDA-Approved Charcoal Toothpaste

There is no study yet that actually prove the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste in teeth whitening.  Hence, the American Dental Association warns people against the use of charcoal toothpaste that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Many dentists link enamel deterioration and tooth sensitivity to charcoal toothpaste. Prolonged use of this toothpaste can harm the teeth. Many manufacturers need to be approved by the FDA because there is insufficient research on the product’s claimed long-term health effects.

Final Say

Charcoal may have a number of health benefits. Its absorptive properties flush unwanted elements such as toxins, bacteria, and viruses from the body. As for why does charcoal whiten teeth, activated charcoal removes some surface stains.

Charcoal toothpaste is also more affordable than other whitening products and treatments. No wonder it is getting so much hype from the people. Additionally, there are many anecdotal claims that it really works despite a decent body of research confirming its effectiveness.

Health experts continue to caution consumers about the use of charcoal toothpaste. With its abrasive texture, it can wear down and deteriorate the tooth enamel, so use charcoal toothpaste properly to ensure its overall benefits.