Toothpaste manufacturers are now offering formulas with activated charcoal, promising that its porous particles suck up stains and tartar. But research in the British Dental Journal suggests that charcoal toothpaste may be harmful by depleting teeth of flouride, the mineral that helps prevent tooth decay progression.
Use an abrasive ingredient like charcoal too often and enamel can erode, says Nicole Khalife, a dentist in New York City. That can lead to hypersensitivity and cavities. Plus, long-term use may turn your teeth gray. Save charcoal for the grill. Opt for more natural alternatives.
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