Say no to activated charcoal

Say no to activated charcoal

I know the latest craze is to use activated charcoal or bentonite clay for toothpaste.  However, before you use the black goo you should know what you're putting in your mouth.  Anything that goes in my mouth (the most vascular area of the whole body), I make sure it's not going to contain any harmful chemicals, toxins or petroleum products of any kind.  Here is a quote from WebMD regarding activated charcoal: "Common charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. “Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals."  So, do you REALLY want to put CHARCOAL in your MOUTH?  There are NO long-term studies proving it is safe for daily use.  Here is another quote from  Minneapolis-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association

Dr. Kim Harms, DDS. “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth,” says Dr. Harms. "She worries about the potential damage the grainy substance can do to your teeth and gums." “Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth. We don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of it,” she says. And according to Dr. Wolff, attempts to use charcoal in toothpaste haven’t been met with tremendous success."  

Bentonite clay is grayer in color than activated charcoal, but is nonetheless touted as a natural teeth whitener as well. The origins of Bentonite clay differ and because it is a binding agent, one should avoid use if on prescription medications.  Here is the MSDS link to bentonite clay

Please note that is says "human carcinogen."  

That's why I use non-aluminum baking soda in my toothpaste.  On the toothpaste RDA chart for abrasiveness  you will see that baking soda is the LEAST abrasive agent on the chart. It's only a 7 which anything over a 70 is considered abrasive, baking soda is extremely mild.  Not only that, it has been tested for years to be proven as safe on enamel.  What is the RDA on activated charcoal and bentonite clay?  God only knows.  I know for certain it's NOT a 7!

It never ceases to amaze me how people with absolutely ZERO dental training come up with formulas for teeth whitening and people just assume it's safe because it's on the market.  You only have one coating of enamel folks!  Don't take a chance with using something that could not only bind up medications in your system but also damage your teeth long term.  At one point in history, urine and vinegar were used to clean teeth.  Looking back, we can say that's disgusting, right?  Urine needs no explanation.  Vinegar is very acidic and strips away enamel leaving teeth extremely sensitive.

Keep in mind you will NEVER get white teeth using toothpastes because they can only remove surface stains.  In order to truly whiten teeth, you must whiten from the inside out.  The dentin is the inner part of your tooth so when you use a professional whitening gel, it penetrates the enamel and goes into the dentin, making your teeth whiter (often more sensitive as well).  If you are looking to naturally whiten your teeth without chemicals, you could use hydrogen peroxide 4-5 times a week (one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water) and swish for 2 minutes for no longer than 2 weeks. However, hydrogen peroxide CAN damage odontoblasts if over-used and also leach out mercury into your system if you have mercury (aka silver) fillings.  Make an informed decision and remember that there is a SAFE and healthy alternative...Simply Silver...simply smile!

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