Why charcoal tooth products could do more harm than good (Marketplace)


[Charlsie] What are black and
white and being read all over? Ads for activated charcoal. I heard this makes
you look like a zombie! [Charlsie] We’ve been hearing
it’s a miracle product for whitening teeth. But can the black stuff
really brighten your smile? Or should we kill the buzz? [♪♪] [Charlsie] The black powders
and pastes that have been making waves on our feeds? Actually date back to the
ancient Greeks. [Man] Filling the wine bowls to the brim, they poured
the patients the grey eyed daughter of Zeus. [Charlsie] Capable of
absorbing toxins and chemicals. Charcoal was first used to treat
a variety of medical conditions, including cleaning the teeth. Fast forward a
few thousand years. And activated
charcoal is in everything. Today we are
trying black ice cream! [Charlsie] From ice
cream, to skincare, even cakes. But these days, it’s brushing
with the black stuff that’s really taken the
internet by storm. Add this to your normal regular
teeth washing routine and I assure you your teeth
will get whiter and whiter. Look at my teeth right now. I think the first use
it actually worked. [Charlsie] So companies say
brushing with the coarse powder a few minutes a day… 2 minutes on the
clock and brushing. [Charlsie] ..can
reveal a whiter smile. But dental
associations think otherwise. The Canadian Dental
Association warns charcoal, yeah, it’s abrasive. So, while it might remove some
surface stains it can’t actually whiten your tooth. The most comprehensive study
on the subject reviewed 50 top selling products. Not one of them had supporting
scientific evidence to back up their claims of
whitening or anything else. And in one small, and
unscientifically conducted study. A community that used raw
charcoal actually made their teeth yellower. The people who conducted that
study say that’s likely because the abrasive charcoal
scrubbed away the outer, protective layer of
the teeth called enamel. Exposing the underlying
tooth layer called dentin, which is, get this, yellow. It does feel like a bit too much
to use in morning and night, because it really scrubs
the stains off your teeth [Charlsie] And get this, nearly
40% of the products reviewed contained something
called bentonite clay. Some forms of bentonite clay
contain crystalline silica, a recognized
carcinogen by the US FDA. [♪♪] [Charlsie] So, if you want to
whiten your teeth safely and effectively? Experts say you should only use
products that have been approved by a dental association and
that have been proven to whiten teeth. Things like the
whitening strips, peroxide, even
the toothpastes or, as always, go and see
your dental professional. Hearing a lot of buzz
about a product or service? Think we should kill that buzz? Then we want to hear from you. Email us [email protected]

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