Dentists issues warning over ‘misleading’ charcoal toothpaste adverts

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You can’t explore Twitter or Instagram these days without seeing an advert for some form of charcoal-based product. In recent months, the popularity of charcoal skincare products and toothpastes has grown hugely, but dentists are warning that the adverts often posted by celebrities may be misleading the general public.

The Oral Health Foundation has warned that using charcoal toothpaste is unlikely to make a significant difference to the whiteness of the teeth and dentists believe that celebrities who endorse the products are misleading followers and fans because they have often had cosmetic treatments, including veneers and tooth whitening. There may be ‘anecdotal’ evidence that charcoal has a whitening effect, but there’s no real solidity to the claims and encouraging people to buy products with the promise that they’re going to have a red carpet worthy smile may be construed as irresponsible.

Like most whitening toothpastes, the foundation warns, charcoal toothpaste is likely to have a superficial impact, making the teeth appear whiter in the short-term as a result of surface stain removal. Long-term, noticeable results can only be achieved with professional whitening treatments available from dentists.

Dr Raha Sepehrara, from The Dental Suite group of clinics, stated that she wouldn’t use the products herself, nor would she consider recommending them to her patients. Toothpastes you buy over the counter remove surface stains, but they cannot alter the actual shade of the tooth enamel, and enhanced images you see on sites like Instagram represent an unrealistic picture of what could be achieved by using such products.

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