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'Whitening' Charcoal Toothpaste May Cause Tooth Decay

'Whitening' Charcoal Toothpaste May Cause Tooth Decay

Experts say claims it whitens teeth are down to 'marketing gimmicks and folklore'

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

Well this is one that's really cut deep. You know them expensive af charcoal toothpastes that you treat yourself to on payday in a bid to give you sparkly white teeth? Dentists have said that there is no evidence it whitens your teeth, and not only that, but it might actually increase the risk of tooth decay as well.

Turns out we've been had.

The whitening products are available on the high street and can range from anywhere between £1 in bargain shops to around £40, and usually contain no fluoride which is the ingredient needed to destroy plaque.

Many of the toothpastes claim to whiten your smile.

Experts from King's College London and the University of Manchester say charcoal products are based around 'marketing gimmicks and folklore'. Great.

In fact, the charcoal in the toothpaste may even absorb the fluoride which is need to stop tooth decay. It doesn't make teeth whiter, but just removes stains in the same way that normal brushing does.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Dr Joseph Greenwall-Cohen from the University of Manchester Dental School and British Dental Bleaching Society, looked into dozens of scientific studies on charcoal products as co-author of an article in the British Dental Journal.

He said: "The problem is that there are so many celebrity endorsements and social media posts about these products, but the claims made about them are unsupported by the evidence.

"The high abortive nature of charcoal limits the amount of active fluoride in the toothpastes required for prevention of dental decay.

"Additionally the 'whitening effect' of the toothpaste is limited to removal of staining and may be no more than the whitening effect of any regular toothpaste."

Loads of celebrities have endorsed the use of teeth whitening - mainly because they've been paid to. Nicole Scherzinger has said she uses coal to brush her teeth, and also pretty much every reality TV personality has at some point advertised them.

Dentists have advised against using the celebrity endorsed products.

Top dental surgery, Baker Street Dental, said on their website: "Many of the celebrities who endorse products by posting sponsored links and images on social media have had cosmetic treatment, and dentists are worried that adverts are misleading people and giving them false hope.

"Using charcoal toothpaste may remove surface stains, but it's not going to suddenly give you much brighter, whiter teeth."

So there we have it, you may as well stick with your £1 Colgate.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock