Of all the bits of my body I’ve had issue with, probably the lowest on my list is my teeth. Yes they’re crooked. Yes, I have an overbite, I used to grind them, and yeah, they’re not bright white tombstone flat, pegs in my face. When I was about 8 I had four teeth removed because my mouth is overcrowded, and again my wisdom teeth removed when I had a series of infections that almost had people questioning my species as I looked far more hamster than human.
They’re teeth. If they function (they do), are clean (they are), and are OK coloured (I mean they’re not sky blue pink with yellow dots on), then they’re fine.
But even I must admit curiosity about the charcoal toothpastes doing the rounds. I mean, there’s always something fascinating about a colour that seems wrong. A colour that seems inappropriate. Like blue disco cocktails and black burger buns. We find it kind of fascinating.
So when Carbon Coco asked me to review their charcoal tooth whitening paste and powder, good idea or bad, I said yes.
The Ultimate Carbon Kit is pretty straightforward. One toothbrush, one pot of black powder, one tube of charcoal toothpaste. Now, I have horribly sensitive teeth and use a sensitive toothpaste, so I incorporated this once a day before bed. Figuring the next morning, I could then use the sensitive stuff.
Into the, er, nitty gritty. The powder first.
This is literally charcoal powder, so it’s fine, light and goes everywhere. I would highly recommend not sneezing, breathing or coughing near the tub to avoid mess. Also keep your cats out off the bathroom when you use it, because if yours are like mine, as soon as you do something that that could get messy, they’re suddenly desperate for a cuddle and you’ll be cleaning little black pawprints off everything for a month.
Get your toothbrush a little wet, dab it gently in the powder, then clean your teeth using the powder for two minutes. Ogle your now black mouth in the mirror and notice that it’s now covered in both black and white spots. Wipe with the cuff of your dressing gown, thus creating a half grey smear across the mirror. Then look at the sink. See just how black it is. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, and then spend ten minutes cleaning the sink.
The toothpaste is, well, a little easier. Just use it once a day in place of your usual toothpaste.
Again, it’s black, so looks weird and eventually your other half will grow weary of your calls for them to ‘come and look at my black teeth’ and start responding from the comfort of the bed/sofa. They will, however, happily point out that the toothpaste does leave your gums a little bit weird and purple and possibly refuse to kiss you.
The black/grey/purple tinge wears off, and next morning, you have shiny pearly whites. Now admittedly the difference isn’t massive, at least it wasn’t for me, and as soon as you stop, everything goes back to normal.
For me, the issue is always the sensitivity, and in the end I stopped using the toothpaste because once again my teeth became ridiculously sensitive. But, curious anyway, I also did what anyone who has a dental nurse in the family would do, and asked – are these things OK? If I carried on, would I be doing any longer terms damage to my teeth?
So yeah, I asked our kid, who said:
20 years into dental nursing and I still find the ways brands communicate to consumers very misleading. Many products label themselves as whitening, but what they often mean is they remove stains.
To lighten the natural colour of your teeth would require dental bleaching/whitening with carbamide peroxide, legislation states this can only be carried out by a qualified and GDC registered dentist.
So buying a toothpaste to whiten your teeth more than their natural colour is going to lead to disappointment.
Activated charcoal is very popular in the beauty trends at the moment but what does it do?
It helps to remove stains, these may be coffee, tea, red wine or smoking stains. Underneath is your natural tooth colour.
The downside charcoal is abrasive, if you have sensitive teeth this may heighten the level of your sensitivity. If you already have enamel abrasion, this may lead to further abrasion depending on how often you use it.
This particular toothpaste contains no fluoride. The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend a fluoride toothpaste to help prevent decay. So if you are thinking of using this toothpaste twice daily, and only this toothpaste, you may be putting yourself at risk of decay.
The toothpaste notes it has pulled coconut oil, there are some reports of coconut oil having a beneficial bacterial effect on your mouth. I would certainly not replace my fluoride toothpaste with a toothpaste containing coconut oil as I feel there are no studies that I have seen to show it has the preventative effects of fluoride. Although I would see no harm in using it alongside a fluoride toothpaste in your oral health routine.
Therefore if you’re happy with the natural colour of your teeth but find stains a problem, a stain removing toothpaste such as this would be useful, but be aware of the risks of replacing your normal toothpaste with it. Using a toothpaste to remove to remove stains a few times a week combined with your normal toothpaste would be another option.
Yet if you wish to lighten your natural tooth colour, go to the experts and see your dentist.
Umm yeah. I’ll stick to my normal toothpaste then.