The Charcoal toothbrush ? It’s a question that’s plagued mankind since the dawn of creation, “Do I use a regular toothbrush or drop some coin and get the charcoal version”? Well maybe not since the dawn of creation but unquestionably in the last 3-4 years. Charcoal bristled toothbrushes also called Binchotan courtesy of our Japanese brethren have become the go to item for those wanting the all-natural, cutting edge, uber cool toothbrush.
The Charcoal Toothbrush
Firstly, charcoal is a form of carbon. Humans are carbon based so it would be difficult to prove any argument for toxicity. Additionally, there are a multitude of dietary supplements touting the health benefits of charcoal. Common claims for the uses of charcoal include traveler’s diarrhea, snake venom neutralizer, skin care, hangover prevention and intestinal bloating just to start. However, the most common medical approved use of activated charcoal treating poisoning of Aspirin, Antidepressants, Antiarrhythmic medications or Theophylline. PubMed list 376 articles with activated charcoal in the title or abstract. Of the 376 articles, 157 studies were on humans and absolutely 0 dealt with toothbrush bristles. The chance of clinical studies being performed on the effectiveness of a charcoal bristled toothbrushes are slim to none given that charcoal is reasonably safe and doesn’t require any epidemiological studies to determine its safety in the human body. Therefor we must apply objective reasoning and a little organic chemistry
To be clear “activated charcoal” is not the same variety that we throw on the Webber Grill while playing an epic round of beer pong.
Activated charcoal originates from hardwoods and coconut shells and when processed with induced oxygen the surface area is increased exponentially. As an example, one gram of activated charcoal has a surface area if 2000m² which is slightly less than half a football field. It is this massive surface area and the natural bonding ability of the carbon atom that imparts the absorption properties of the charcoal bristle toothbrush hence the term “Activated”. This type of carbon is actively looking to grab or bond on to something; hopefully stain and bacteria.
So, will a charcoal toothbrush whiten your teeth?
Having cleaned over 100,000 mouths, I’m compelled to answer in the affirmative. Tooth dulling stains such as Coffee, Tea, Red Wine, Balsamic Vinegar, Tobacco, Gingko Berry, Sodas, Tomato Sauce, Soy Sauce, Beet Root, Betel Nut, Copenhagen, Curry and whatever you might place in your water pipe will all be susceptible to the attraction properties of activated carbon. Some of this particle policing will occur on a molecular level, (opposite charges attract), while the rest will be direct physical entrapment. It’s essentially a toothbrush bristle that acts like a sponge. So, soak that one up.
How about antibacterial/anti-viral properties?
Keep in mind that carbon is 100% alkaline with 4 valence electrons making it highly electrical with a negative ionic charge. If we recall 5th grade science class, and remember that opposite charges attract, we can rightly conclude that a positively charged bacteria, toxin, or virus will bond to a negatively charged molecule of activated charcoal. So once again the answer is yes. The science goes way beyond this last statement and there are exceptions, but a charcoal toothbrush will give you more benefit over a standard nylon bristled toothbrush.
So, the next question is obviously “What is a Good Charcoal Toothbrush”?
Well it’s the one that we built of course. It’s called the MD Brush with “Activated Charcoal” and it’s quickly becoming the top-rated toothbrush on Amazon.com.
Again, I’ve been cleaning mouths for a long time and have seen just about all there is to see in a dental practice. I’ve heard it all and smelt it all. I’ve played with more bacteria than the leading microbiologist for NASA. but the question I’m most often ask’ed is “What Is the Best Toothbrush”? The answer is “The one you use… correctly”. I stress correctly, because most people suck at brushing which is why the CDC verifies that 75% of Americans will experience gum disease at some point in their life. Not to freak you out further, but gum disease is now linked as contributing to the development of Heart Disease and Diabetes. So, if your gums bleed when you brush or floss – I’m talking directly to you. Most of us brush in a completely random, zero thoughts given, scrub motion, without truly considering angles or position. The MD Brush is the first manual toothbrush designed to break the cycle of poor brushing and help you THINK and BRUSH like a Dental Professional utilizing the BASS Method. Brushing this way has been proven to be just as effective and, in some cases, more effective that those expensive sonic brushes. The MD Brush will improve your brushing technique to help your brush more completely, with greater efficiency and effectiveness than ever before until the Bass method becomes second nature. Adding charcoal bristles to the design just makes the brush that much better.
Mike Davidson, Maverick Dental Hygienist and CEO