Did you know that overexposure to fluoride can actually pose a risk to your overall health? This naturally occurring substance is found in soil, food, and water. Fluoride is known to help reduce the prevalence of tooth decay. That’s why it’s typically added to drinking water to minimize the need for dental checkups especially for people who can’t afford them.
But studies have found that overexposure to fluoride may also pose a risk. For this reason, groups of people have been scouring for alternatives to fluoride toothpaste to reduce their intake of this potentially dangerous substance.
The best alternative so far? Charcoal. This potent natural substance poses fewer risks compared to products that use fluoride, making it a suitable substitute for brushing teeth. But is it really okay to use charcoal on your teeth and gums? Find out here.
The Issue with Fluoride
Fluoride is present in most water sources and lots of different foods. Exposing our teeth to fluoride regularly can help protect them against tooth decay. However, some research has shown that too much fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis.
When this develops, it’s possible to experience mottling of the teeth. In severe cases, you may even undergo the painful calcification of your joints and ligaments.
Fluoride is present in most toothpaste formulations, preventing cavities and tooth decay, and making the teeth stronger. However, because of the dangers of taking in more fluoride than our bodies require, constantly brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste puts you at risk of ingesting the substance.
Even after a thorough gargle, there’s no guarantee that you’ve completely rid your mouth of the fluoride in your toothpaste. Which makes it possible for you to continue swallowing it in trace amounts as you go about your day.
Plus the fact that you might be consuming fluoride in your water and food, you may actually be exposed to more of it than you think. Some research even suggests that fluoride can seep in through your gums, making toothpaste even more dangerous.
Charcoal as a Substitute
Individuals who want to limit their exposure to fluoride mostly gravitate towards the use of charcoal. This natural substance is used in the clinical setting to absorb toxins and poison that may have been ingested. The charcoal works to reduce the effects of these harmful substances, limiting their impact on the body and even preventing mortality.
In the same way, using charcoal on your teeth may help absorb the debris and plaque that might have clung to your teeth through daily exposure to food and other staining agents. The gentle abrasive texture dislodges contaminants that are stuck on the surface of your teeth, revealing the whiter enamel underneath.
Is Charcoal Harmful for the Teeth?
Unlike fluoride, charcoal doesn’t pose the same risk of long-term use toxicity. It isn’t dangerous when ingested and will simply be passed through the system without causing any dangers later on. It’s worth mentioning though that charcoal may be damaging for the enamel if used too often.
The same abrasive quality that charcoal possesses may cause damage to the enamel in the long run. The texture can degrade the outermost layer of the teeth, making them more prone to decay and cavities. So while charcoal may work well to clean the teeth, rid the oral cavity of bacteria, and and whiten your smile, it’s best to use in moderation.
Can Charcoal Be Absorbed Through the Gums?
The short answer is no – charcoal can’t be absorbed through the gums, the skin, or the inside of the mouth. In fact, even if you were to eat charcoal, the substance would simply pass through your system and be ejected as waste matter.
Using charcoal on your gums may even prove to be beneficial. One study found that the regular use of charcoal on the gums and oral cavity restored the mouth to the ideal pH balance. In the same light, charcoal may also remove harmful bacteria and prevent the infection of the gums.
The Powerful Combination of Charcoal and Fluoride
Both fluoride and charcoal pose risks and benefits for those who want to keep their dental health in check. So what’s the best solution? Experts actually recommend interchanging these two substances to clean your teeth and gums.
Fluoride will help strengthen your teeth, reinforcing them against damage and making them less prone to decay. The solution is also unique in that it can provide that fresh feeling after each use. Choose to brush with fluoride toothpaste 4-5 days a week to reduce the risk of eroding your enamel with excessive abrasion due to the use of charcoal.
Charcoal on the other hand should help remove stains, whiten your teeth, and restore the proper pH balance in your oral cavity. You can use it to clean your teeth 2-3 times a week. This can limit your exposure to fluoride and decrease the risk for long-term toxicity.
There is no absolute solution for oral health. It really depends on how well you’re able to balance out the benefits that each of the available products provide to minimize the risks that they pose.
If you want to optimize your dental health, try alternating charcoal with fluoride toothpaste. This won’t only help you achieve a stronger set of gums and teeth, but a brilliant smile that you can be proud of.