Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Choosing The Right Toothpaste For A Healthy Smile

A trip to the supermarket reveals the huge selection of toothpaste available on the market today. And a supermarket doesn’t even carry the full selection, when you consider large pharmacies and health food shops, the selection grows even more. We all need toothpaste, but which one is best? The choice can be overwhelming at times.
Today, on the SCR Clinic blog, we compare the benefits of a fluoride-based toothpaste with a charcoal-based one.

The No. 1 Trusted Ingredient – Fluoride


When you’re looking for a toothpaste which will help keep your mouth healthy and free of decay, you need to use a toothpaste which is formulated with fluoride. I appreciate some of you
may read this and say, ‘ah, tell us something we don’t know!’ However, much like vaccinations, there is a growing cohort of people who want to avoid fluoride completely due to its perceived negative effects. As dental healthcare experts we, at SCR Clinic, want to make it clear to all our patients and readers that fluoride is a necessary ingredient in both toothpaste and drinking water.

Yes, over-consumption of fluoride can have a negative effect. However, when used in small doses it helps prevent tooth decay and cavities and is perfectly safe. That is why it is used and approved by dental experts across the world.

Other ingredients your toothpaste should are calcium and phosphate which work to strengthen the tooth’s enamel. Always read the ingredients list on your toothpaste to ensure that these
elements are included.

Alternative Active Ingredient – Charcoal Toothpaste


Charcoal toothpaste was first made by the Romans back in 27 BC! And yet, it has made a come back in recent years. If it’s been used for that long, surely there’s a good reason for its
use today? Unfortunately, the scientific research carried out has shown that charcoal toothpaste may do more harm than good.

Charcoal toothpaste is made using activated charcoal, a substance that has been shown to draw other substances to it. This is why it is used in the medical field when someone has ingested
something they shouldn’t have. The charcoal binds the substance to it and flushes out of the body with the charcoal. Using this same principle, it is thought that charcoal toothpaste can draw stains from the teeth giving a whitening effect.

However, in a recent study carried out by the British Dental Journal, it was found that most charcoal toothpastes included in their study didn’t contain fluoride and even the ones that did were not as effective at fighting tooth decay because the charcoal can actually stop fluoride from working effectively.

There are other risks involved with using charcoal toothpaste, too. If you’re taking medication, the charcoal could over absorb it from your body which may decrease its effectiveness.

As charcoal is a naturally abrasive substance, it could actually damage the surface of your teeth and cut your gums. Taking charcoal into the body may not be healthy. Some research
points to the presence of carcinogenic properties while it is known that ingesting charcoal can result in constipation and discolouration of the tongue.

Further, the levels of charcoal in these toothpastes are not enough to produce a significant whitening effect.

At SCR Clinic, we have seen the benefits of a good fluoride-based toothpaste on oral health for many years. When used properly, with a good brushing technique and in conjunction with flossing and regular dental check-ups for a polish, your teeth can be maintained in optimal health. If you would like to explore dental whitening, as charcoal toothpastes are not as effective as you might hope, it is a better option to ask your dentist about safe, effective teeth whitening treatments.

If you are concerned about an existing dental condition you can make an appointment with us at SCR Clinic online, or by contacting our reception on 01- 454 9688.

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