Although the concept of commercial charcoal toothbrushes is relatively new, charcoal has been used to improve oral and dental health care for decades. Even after all this time, the question still stands – are charcoal toothbrushes safe to use? In this blog post, we will be sharing the benefits, limitations, and special precautions of using charcoal toothbrushes along with the final verdict.
What Are Charcoal Toothbrushes, and How Do They Work?
As the name implies, the charcoal toothbrushes are made of unique bristles infused with activated charcoal. These brushes are typically made of wooden handles, and they are fully biodegradable, which helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
The bristles of charcoal toothbrushes are made of coal, coconut shells, and some other materials that are reheated and activated once oxidized. Rather than smearing the bacteria around your teeth like regular toothbrushes, the charcoal toothbrushes trap them in the bristles while brushing the teeth.
What Is Activated Charcoal? Is It Safe for Toothbrushes?
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is a processed form of carbon that increases the surface area and acts like a sponge to absorb the bacterial particles. Since the bristles already contain the activated carbon in the charcoal toothbrushes, they effectively clean the bacteria on a microscopic level. The activated charcoal also helps remove the plaque and debris that stains your teeth.
Medical experts have still not come to a concrete conclusion about using an activated charcoal toothbrush regularly. However, most professionals suggest that charcoal can start destroying the enamel in your teeth if used for an extended period. Once damaged by the abrasive charcoal, enamel cannot repair itself, as it does not have living cells.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Charcoal Toothbrush?
The benefits of charcoal toothbrushes are more or less the same as those for the charcoal toothpaste. Here are some of the advantages of using these toothbrushes:
The activated charcoal infused bristles in the toothbrush absorb the bacteria and debris sticking to your teeth. When you rinse your mouth after brushing, it exudes all these elements, preventing plaque that causes cavities and tooth decay.
Minimizes the Bad Breath Problem
Unlike normal kinds of toothpaste that use scented and flavored ingredients to help eliminate bad breath, charcoal toothbrushes directly extract the bacteria that cause it. This is a much better and natural way of cleaning your teeth without using any unnecessary chemical-toothpaste.
Reduces the Tooth Surface Stains
The yellow stains on the teeth surface are the result of consuming beverages and oily food. You usually take care of this issue by using a toothpaste that whitens your teeth. On the other hand, the charcoal bristles absorb these sticky elements, leaving your teeth exceptionally clean and bacteria-free.
What Are the Limitations of Using a Charcoal Toothbrush?
Some downsides of using the charcoal toothbrushes include:
Less Effective Than Other Charcoal Products
Although charcoal toothbrushes work efficiently for brushing your teeth, they are not as effective as other charcoal products like toothpaste and charcoal powder.
Expensive and Hard to Find
The charcoal toothbrushes are much more expensive than regular ones. As these toothbrushes are comparatively new, they also have limited availability, making it difficult to find them at every drug store.
Not for Long-Term Use
The activated charcoal toothbrushes can damage the tooth surface when you use it for a long period.
Lack of Scientific Studies
People hesitate to buy this product because of the lack of research and hard proof for its advantages and downsides.
Precautions to Follow When Using a Charcoal Toothbrush
There are some specific precautions you must follow when using a charcoal toothbrush. These include:
- Beware of brushes with black nylon bristles, instead of activated carbon, being sold as charcoal toothbrushes.
- It would be best if you regularly switch between the regular and charcoal toothbrushes every two weeks.
- Keep the charcoal toothbrush in a dry place, as it will start absorbing the chemicals in the air. The brush loses its effectiveness when you place it in an open environment after use.
- Don’t use the same charcoal toothbrush you used when you had a mouth infection. The bristles absorb the bacteria and kill them, but it accumulates after some time, restarting the mouth infection.
The Final Verdict – Are Charcoal Toothbrushes Safe to Use?
Without detailed research about charcoal toothbrushes, you can’t know if the charcoal toothbrushes are safe to use in the long run. However, a limited amount of studies indicate that you can use them for a short time and then switch back to the regular toothbrushes without risking your dental health. One thing to remember before you get a charcoal toothbrush is to research thoroughly, as many brands are selling black nylon bristles brushes as charcoal toothbrushes.