Everyone wants a good-looking, healthy smile. While you most likely know that brushing and flossing is essential for good teeth health, maybe you’ve heard about a dental fad that’s intriguing. While some dental fads may be safe and possibly effective, there are four we believe should be approached with caution: charcoal toothpaste, baking soda and lemon juice, clay, and fluoride-free toothpaste.

  • Charcoal Toothpaste


Activated charcoal has become a popular ingredient in lots of health products, including toothpaste. Exact ingredients can vary and can include bone char, coconut shells, coal, and so on, and its claim to fame is that it can absorb impurities. That sounds great for your teeth in theory, but charcoal is very abrasive on your teeth. At first, charcoal toothpaste might work to whiten your teeth by scrubbing away surface stains, but most people can overdo it and in the process end up scrubbing off their enamel. Enamel can’t grow back once it’s gone. This leads to discoloration because underneath your enamel is dentin, which has a yellow color. Losing enamel can also contribute to sensitive teeth and vulnerability to decay.

  • Baking Soda & Lemon Juice


Baking soda is abrasive. When combined with lemon juice, which is what many DIY toothpaste recipes say to do, the effect is even more risky. Lemon juice is extremely acidic and it can eat away at your enamel if you leave it on your teeth too long. You might remove surface stains at first, but chronic use of the paste can lead to thinned enamel.

  • Clay


Like charcoal, clay is often found in other health products like facial masks, but there are some toothpaste recipes out there that call for clay. It’ll usually be bentonite clay or kaolin clay. Bentonite-based toothpastes are touted as an all-natural alternative to “chemical-laced” regular toothpaste, and fans say that kaolin clay can “remineralize” your teeth, but there are no studies to support this claim. The fact also remains that clay is abrasive and therefore risky.

  • Fluoride-Free Toothpaste


Despite countless studies that show fluoride in a safe dosage strengthens teeth and reduces the occurrence of cavities, not everyone is convinced. Fluoride-free toothpaste is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to regular toothpaste. However, switching to a fluoride-free toothpaste will increase your risk for decay and cavities. While you may think you’re getting enough fluoride from your water, it’s most beneficial when it’s applied directly to your teeth in toothpaste and with a professional fluoride treatment.

Achieve & Maintain a Healthy Smile with Our Team!

Instead of experimenting with unproven dental fads, visit Kherani Dental at Aspen for help keeping your teeth in the best possible shape with evidence-based dental care. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment.