Charcoal toothpaste has become one of the new fads in the world of “natural” health trends. These products are marketed as chemical-free alternatives that are better for whitening teeth and preventing bad breath. BBC News Online (UK)has recently shared a review in the British Dental Journalthat states there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims. Based on this report and furthermore backed by a 2017 Journal of the American Dental Association study, which analyzed more than 100 articles on charcoal and charcoal-based toothpastes and powders, the American Dental Association is warning that these charcoal-based toothpastes can likely do more harm than good. One of the reasons is that activated charcoal may be too abrasive and could lead to the harmful wear of the protective enamel layer on teeth. There’s also the fact that these toothpastes are often missing ingredients proven to help prevent tooth decay, such as fluoride. Additionally, there is the potential for bits of charcoal to get stuck in fillings, veneers, or other dental restorations which can permanently discolor or harm them. When seeking a teeth whitening toothpaste, Dr. Lueck recommends avoiding marketing gimmicks and instead look for products with the “ADA Seal of Acceptance,” which verifies that the toothpaste is safe and effective.