Your children's dental hygiene is an important part of caring for their overall health. There are so many choices of toothpaste, mouthwash and other products on the market that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one is the best. You may have heard great things about charcoal toothpaste, proclaiming it as the newest and brightest star in the dental care industry. How much of the hype is true, though?
Proponents claim that charcoal toothpaste offers superior cleaning and whitens teeth as children brush. When you hear that a product contains this substance, it may give you pause if it brings to mind the material you use when cooking on the grill. The dark gray color may also inspire some hesitation.
In general, though, the charcoal used in toothpaste is not dangerous, even if a little of it is swallowed. Many remedies for ingested poisons actually include activated charcoal as it is believed to draw poisons out of the body. While it's not advisable for children to eat any toothpaste, there's no reason to believe that it will cause internal issues.
Those who sing the praises of charcoal toothpaste claim that it makes the mouth cleaner and the breath fresher than traditional toothpaste. If this substance does absorb toxins, it makes sense that it would be helpful in removing food particles and other things that cause bacteria to multiply in your children's mouths. There is not sufficient evidence that charcoal accomplishes this goal better than any other product, though. Any perceived benefit may simply be due to the fact that, since the toothpaste is a dark color, kids must brush longer to get rid of it. Extending the brushing time with traditional toothpaste can be just as beneficial.
While the enamel that protects your children's teeth is hard, it is also thin and prone to erosion. Charcoal is naturally abrasive and thus may wear the enamel off their teeth, particularly when used regularly. There are several signs of erosion to look out for:
Yellow or dull-looking surface on teeth
Increased sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
Visible wearing on the teeth
There is no evidence that the claims about charcoal's whitening ability are true. In fact, if all the charcoal is not brushed away and is allowed to remain on the teeth for extended periods of time, it can actually cause staining. As with any other foreign element in the mouth, the constant presence of charcoal can wear down enamel even when the extra pressure of brushing is not being applied.
Regular care is your children's best defense against tooth decay. Make sure they are brushing at least once in the morning and again at night and rinsing with mouthwash. Help them as they learn to floss their teeth to ensure that they are cleaning every space daily. It's never too early to learn good dental hygiene.
Additionally, it's important to protect teeth from harmful or abrasive materials. Brushing should be done with a toothbrush with soft bristles and gentle toothpaste. Avoiding excess sugar when possible also helps keep teeth healthy. Another good way to keep your children's teeth in great shape is with regular cleanings.
Contact Pediatric Dental Group in Lihue and Honolulu, Hawaii to schedule an appointment or inquire about a variety of services that help ensure long-lasting dental health.