Charcoal-containing dentifrices are gaining popularity, but scientific information on their effect on oral health is scarce. This study investigated properties of dentifrices that may affect dentine abrasivity, as well as their ability to adsorb fluoride, their pH and the presence of harmful substances.
Materials and methods
The dentifrices NAO and COCO were subjected to the following analyses: abrasivity, expressed as mean abraded depth and relative dentin abrasivity (RDA), and surface roughness of extracted human molars (n = 30) after simulated brushing; fluoride adsorption measured as concentration change; pH measurements; detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The products were compared to a reference dentifrice (Colgate® MaxWhite), positive controls (ISO dentifrice slurry, activated charcoal for laboratory use) and a negative control (distilled water).
The mean abraded depths of NAO and COCO were not different (p > .05), but higher than the reference dentifrice and the negative control (p < .05). The RDA values of NAO, COCO and the ISO dentifrice slurry were higher than the reference dentifrice value (p < .05) by up to 10 times. The dentine surface roughness was higher after brushing with NAO, COCO and ISO dentifrice slurry compared to distilled water (p < .05). No change in mean adsorbed fluoride concentration was observed after 24 h (p > .05). Both NAO and COCO were alkaline (pH > 7). Analysis of NAO revealed the presence of naphthalene (112.8 ± 2.0 ng/mL).
The charcoal-containing dentifrices were abrasive within acceptable limits set by ISO and did not adsorb fluoride. The presence of naphthalene in one product is a cause for concern.

In vitro abrasity and chemical properties of charcoal-containing dentifrices
Macla F, Mulic A, Bruzell E, Valen H, Stenhagen ISR
Biomaterial Investigations in Dentistry, Volume 7, 2020- Issue1, pages 164-174