With the Zero Waste trend going on full swing, many advocates have pushed for alternatives to reduce trash. This also means avoiding disposable towels, utensils and even toothbrushes to decrease their carbon footprint. One commercial substitute that has been recently introduced in the market are charcoal toothbrushes.

What are charcoal toothbrushes exactly? Are they safe to use? How long do they last? Here are the answers.

What is a charcoal toothbrush?

A charcoal toothbrush is typically made of bristles infused with activated charcoal on a wooden (usually bamboo) handle. There are also fully biodegradable toothbrushes but some do have nylon bristles. If you’re worried that you’re about to rub actual coal in your teeth, don’t worry—it’s made of coal, coconut shells, olive pits, and other materials which are then reheated and activated once it’s oxidized.

Is activated charcoal safe?

As of now, medical professionals are still divided on the issue. Some experts say that using finely ground and controlled amounts of activated charcoal in a specially formulated product is okay to use. However, replacing your toothpaste with activated charcoal or using it in the long-term might destroy the enamel in the teeth. Enamel do not have living cells and therefore cannot repair itself if the charcoal becomes too abrasive for the teeth.

How does activated charcoal work?

Since the charcoal is already built into the bristles, cleaning your teeth becomes more effective as the charcoal absorbs and binds bacteria together at a microscopic level. The same carbon-absorbing properties also removes plaque and tannins which stains the teeth.

Are biodegradable toothbrushes safe?

Since some charcoal toothbrushes are made of fully biodegradable materials, experts advise people to exercise caution using those made of natural bristles. Brushes that uses pig or badger hair can be too hard and abrasive for gums, while natural bristles retain moisture and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Charcoal toothbrushes might be popular today, but taking advantage of dental care trends to boost your oral health should always be consulted with a dentist first. That’s why Advantage Medical & Dental is here to help you! We have access to quality dental solutions and certified professionals. Book an appointment with any of our clinics in Hastings, Rosebud, or Tooradin by calling us today!