Month: February 2023

Does charcoal toothpaste damage braces?

charcoal toothpaste in the shape of a question mark with a charcoal toothbrush beside it

Charcoal toothpaste has become more popular lately, with well-known brands like Colgate, Crest, Hello and Burt’s Bees entering the charcoal toothpaste market. Is this trend worth the try? Is it a good idea to use charcoal toothpaste with braces?

Here’s everything you need to know:

What is charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste uses activated charcoal, which is a fine-grain powder made from wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances. Activated charcoal is highly absorbent, acting like a sponge, to pull out toxins and lift stains from the enamel (the surface layer of the teeth). 

Is charcoal bad for your teeth?

Brushing your teeth with activated charcoal is a slippery slope. Charcoal is mildly abrasive, and over time, it can wear down your enamel. While charcoal toothpaste may remove surface stains in the short run, it can cause your teeth to yellow over time and become more sensitive as it damages your enamel.

Your enamel has the critical responsibility of protecting the sensitive inner layers of your teeth. It protects your teeth from damage due to chewing, biting and grinding teeth. Enamel does not grow back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Preserving your enamel by avoiding abrasive materials and minimizing contact with sugary acids is key. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) does not currently approve of any toothpastes with activated charcoal.

Due to charcoal’s abrasiveness, the importance of preserving enamel and the ADA not approving charcoal toothpaste, we are going to say that charcoal is not the best ingredient to use on your teeth.

Charcoal toothpaste and braces

Charcoal toothpaste isn’t known to damage braces. Your braces are very strong and durable. However, charcoal can get stuck within brackets and wires, leaving black specks behind. 

Brushing aggressively can loosen a bracket, wire or elastic. Adding abrasive charcoal toothpaste to the mix can add even more pressure to your braces and increase the risk of them breaking.

Is a charcoal toothbrush safe?

A charcoal toothbrush is a toothbrush that has bristles infused with activated charcoal. These bristles are typically attached to a wooden/bamboo handle. 

Charcoal bristles are believed to absorb bacteria and help prevent bad breath. However, like charcoal toothpaste, charcoal toothbrush bristles are abrasive and damaging to tooth enamel. Charcoal toothbrushes do not have the ADA’s seal of acceptance and therefore are not safe to use.

Is charcoal mouthwash safe?

Based on a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “There is insufficient evidence to substantiate the therapeutic and cosmetic marketing claims of charcoal-based mouthwashes, including antimicrobial activity, anti-halitosis, tooth whitening, periodontal disease control, caries reduction and tooth remineralisation, among others.”

In other words, there is not enough evidence to prove that charcoal-based mouthwashes provide any benefits for neither cosmetics nor health. Charcoal mouthwash is therefore unnecessary and potentially damaging to enamel. 

Try a mouthwash that has been approved by the ADA instead!  

Is charcoal floss safe?

Like charcoal toothpaste and charcoal mouthwash, using charcoal floss is a gamble. Charcoal particles can wear down enamel and make you more susceptible to tooth decay (cavities) and sensitivity. Use one of these flosses with the ADA seal of acceptance instead!

Can you use whitening toothpaste with braces?

One reason people may choose to use charcoal toothpaste is for the whitening benefits. We now know that charcoal toothpaste is not a good choice due to its abrasive properties. Does that mean you should try a different type of whitening toothpaste with braces?

Not exactly. It’s best to wait until your braces are removed before you begin any type of whitening treatment, whether it’s a toothpaste, mouthwash, or at-home whitening. 

Braces brackets are bonded to your teeth, which means the surfaces under your brackets will not be accessible by your whitening treatment. When your braces are removed, you’ll have darker squares of discoloration where your brackets once were. 

So, is whitening toothpaste bad for braces? Whitening toothpaste shouldn’t damage your braces, but it will leave you with a discoloration issue at the end of treatment. 

Still have questions about charcoal or black powder toothpaste?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re more than happy to discuss oral hygiene with you and help you choose the right toothpaste to ensure the best results from orthodontic treatment. 

Ready to start your orthodontic journey? Request your complimentary consultation with us in Jupiter, FL. 

Can I still get clear aligners with hypodontia (multiple missing teeth)?

Woman with missing molars staring at her invisalign clear aligners

When you’re missing multiple teeth, your first thought may be to go the route of dental implants to gain back your smile. While dental implants are a quick way to replace missing teeth, they’re also a permanent solution. Meaning, once they’re in, they can’t be moved during orthodontic treatment like natural teeth. 

So if you’re interested in gaining back your healthy bite and chewing strength, orthodontics can be part of your smile solution! Jupiter Orthodontics is proud to provide both braces and Invisalign treatment for all ages and case complexities. Yes, even in the case of hypodontia (those born with missing teeth) and other cases of multiple missing teeth. Which means you can be a candidate for Invisalign with missing molars!

Here’s how our experienced orthodontists can help patients with multiple missing teeth achieve their smile goals.

Why would I need an orthodontist for missing teeth?

If you have multiple missing teeth, you may or may not need orthodontic treatment. It all depends on the positions of your teeth and the alignment of your jaw bones. 

But often with cases of multiple missing teeth, the surrounding teeth will start to drift to fill the spaces. As teeth move out of healthy alignment, this can create new orthodontic issues, including crowding and malocclusions (bite misalignment). 

In some cases such as missing back teeth, you can even experience the super eruption (or overeruption) of molars within a first year of tooth loss or even years later. This is where molars emerge too far from their place in the alveolar bone (the bone that holds your roots) and begin to expose the roots of the tooth. You may see this phenomenon when a tooth looks longer than the rest and feels particularly sensitive. With full orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist can intrude (or move) overerupted teeth back into your jawbone.

Missing teeth can create orthodontic problems at any stage of life. Studies by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics show that “craniofacial growth does not stop in young adulthood but is a continuous process even into later ages.”Orthodontic problems can affect your quality of life, including your confidence, self-esteem, chewing, and bite functionality.

Can braces fix hypodontia?

Whether you’ve lost multiple teeth to tooth decay, periodontal disease, or an accident; as long as you’re committed to caring for your dental health, our orthodontists are happy to be part of your smile restoration journey. 

You mentioned hypodontia? What is that? Hypodontia is a rare congenital disorder where 1 to 6 teeth never develop. Up to 8% of the population is born with this condition and it often requires a team of healthcare professionals to treat – an orthodontist included!

A few of the options available to patients with multiple missing teeth are advanced self-ligating braces (metal or ceramic options) or InBrace® hidden braces. So you can rock a sleek metallic treatment or go discreet with a tooth-colored bracket. 

But can you use aligners with missing teeth?

No matter the cause of your missing teeth, our orthodontist’s level of skill and experience enables us to treat you with your preferred treatment option. If you have multiple missing teeth and need orthodontics, we can develop a plan to help you achieve your goals. So yes, that means even Invisalign® clear aligners can be used to treat bite issues caused by missing front or back teeth

In some cases, you may require a space maintainer to preserve the space created by a missing tooth or teeth. Space maintainers prevent teeth from drifting over and creating a more severe misalignment. This is true for if the missing tooth needs to be replaced too, we can hold space for the restoration as well. 

At your first visit, our team will explain the purpose of any orthodontic appliance used in conjunction with your braces, InBrace, or Invisalign treatment.

It’s time to reveal your dream smile!

The best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for orthodontic treatment is by visiting us for a free exam. One of our highly-experienced orthodontists, Dr. King or Dr. Welch will perform a full examination of your smile and present your treatment options to help you make the best decision for your smile. 

It takes $0 to find out if you’re a good candidate for orthodontics! You deserve to live your most confident life. Request a free orthodontic exam with us in Jupiter, FL.