Here’s the key graphic as discussed in my lecture for Colgate. Click the image to view full size.
Fluoride often comes in for some negative coverage in the media. Critics claim they have identified links between it and a whole raft of health issues. One result has been manufacturers coming up with alternative toothpastes that don’t contain fluoride. Charcoal toothpaste is just one such product. Advocates for it draw on evidence of charcoal’s de-toxifying properties to justify using it as a toothpaste.
However, there is inadequate data to prove its safety or usefulness in oral health products. It is possible that charcoal will remove some superficial stains on your teeth. However, due to its abrasive nature, it will ultimately cause more harm than good. It will erode your tooth enamel while doing nothing to protect your teeth from decay. When asked my opinion of the use of fluoride by patients or journalists, I simply say that extensive reports and research conclude that fluoride poses no risk to health when used in toothpaste. We need fluoride in toothpaste to help teeth resist daily damage caused by acidic food and to help prevent tooth decay.