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What you should know about Charcoal Toothpaste

There is lots of online talk about charcoal toothpastes and their benefits. Two main benefits reported are whiter teeth via stain removal and overall health benefits of filtering/scavenging activity of charcoal grabbing onto bacteria, toxins, etc.

From our point of view [The Marshall Clinic], we do not recommend charcoal toothpastes because if they are effective it will be through excessive abrasiveness [virtually all “whitening” toothpastes have RDA values higher than is recommended…..essentially they make teeth whiter by stripping off the surface layer of enamel] and because they are being used topically [not being swallowed] there will be minimal to no effects systemically that could impact overall health.

What is RDA?
To help quantify the abrasivity, the ADA along with various academic, industry and agencies established a standardized scale called Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA). This scale assigns a value from 0 to 250.

Our advice for toothpastes is to find one you like the taste of, that has low abrasiveness [less than 90 RDA value], has fluoride, has basic pH, sweetened with Xylitol only and doesn’t contain SLS [sodium lauryl sulphate].

There are many whitening systems for your teeth. Feel free to contact us if you would like more information about how to safely whiten your teeth.

Sample Toothpaste RDA:

  • Straight Baking Soda – 7
  • CTx4 Gel – 18
  • Sensodyne ProNamel – 37
  • Arm & Hammer Peroxicare – 42
  • Tom’s of Maine Sensitive – 49
  • Colgate Regular – 68
  • Colgate Total – 70
  • Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive – 70
  • Colgate 2 in-1 Fresh Mint – 70
  • Colgate Cavity Protection – 70
  • Sensodyne – 79
  • Colgate Sensitive – 83
  • Sensodyne Fresh Mint – 90
  • Tom’s of Maine Regular – 93
  • Crest Regular – 95
  • Colgate Optic White – 100
  • Sensodyne Extra Whitening – 104
  • Crest Sensitivity Protection – 107
  • Arm & Hammer Advanced White – 117
  • Crest Pro Health Whitening – 130
  • Crest Multi-care Whitening -144
  • Colgate Baking Soda & Whitening – 145
  • Colgate Tartar Control – 165
  • Colgate 2 in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening – 200

Bruce Marshall

An award-winning graduate of UBC’s Doctor of Dental Medicine program, Bruce Marshall continues a family tradition of dental excellence. Bruce has completed advanced surgical, prosthetic and esthetics courses, and gives dental lectures frequently in Vancouver