Influencers Are Decaying Your Teeth

Have you ever seen that famous charcoal toothpaste circulating on social media and being constantly promoted by influencers? Well, turns out what they’ve been telling us is a total lie!

What happened?

The claims these brands are making have been deemed unproven by a 2017 review in the United States of over 50 products, only just gaining media attention this month.

  • Most brands incorrectly claim they’re products are “anti-bacterial”, “anti-fungal” & that they “reduce tooth decay”.
  • The largest claim that the products are “teeth whitening” – completely unproven! These experiences are purely anecdotal, with no scientific evidence to back it up.

Dentists have expressed that these toothpastes do more harm than good:

  • The lack of fluoride in these products restrict them from protecting teeth.
  • Excessive brushing with the charcoal is likely to cause abrasions on consumers’ enamel and gums.
  • Charcoal particles are also likely to get stuck in gums and and irritate them.
  • Anyone with fillings – bad news! The charcoal can easily become stuck in-between them and become really difficult to get out.

Professor Damien Walmsley (British Dental Association) pleads with consumers; “Don’t believe the hype. Anyone concerned about staining or discoloured teeth … should see their dentist” [source].

Aussie Influencer Pia Muehlenbeck promoting charcoal toothpaste to her 2 million followers on Instagram.

The Influencer Effect:

So – the Digital Marketing side of things. The front running charcoal toothpaste brand is most definitely Carbon Coco. Their main form of social media is Instagram, and the majority of their posts are micro-influencers (with just over 10,000 followers) promoting their products. This works well for the brand – the micro-influencers receive free product in exchange for an image or short video using the product (and the influencers get to boast that they worked with a large brand!).

Although, these testimonials are largely questionable, many images posted on their Instagram clearly edited to make their teeth look whitened:

Catherine Bouris from the Sydney Morning Herald put their products to the test, and after 6 weeks, had these incredible results (…not)!

I don’t know about you, but I have personally been marketed advertisements for charcoal toothpaste (via social media) for over a year now! I also must admit – I’ve been tempted to try it.

These testimonials from micro-influencers really sold me, as did their strong claims on their website:

[Source]

Have you ever been marketed or tempted to try an online fad, such as charcoal toothpaste? Has the promotion of the product/s by influencers guided you in this decision?

34 thoughts on “Influencers Are Decaying Your Teeth

  1. Thanks for the great read, Indiana! I’ve also seen so many charcoal toothpaste advertisements, it’s ridiculous! It’s pretty concerning the lack of accountability and integrity influencers are subject to though, which now makes me double think the fads I want to try after seeing all the advertising. It definitely gets tempting though when you’re constantly seeing miracle products advertised on your social media accounts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great point, Meagan! I find that in these situations influencers act like they’re not responsible for any damage, whereas that’s totally wrong! I’m interested to see the future implications for influencers in these situations. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  2. Karly Mittermayr 13 May 2019 — 6:51 pm

    Wow! Who would have known that this highly praised trend could cause so much harm! This is definitely something that I have considered buying in the past, but am glad that I have read this and will stay away from these products. Thanks for an informative read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s terrifying to think about how many consumers are still unaware of this information and will continue buying these products in the future! I wonder if brands like Carbon Coco will address any of these claims via their social media.. Thanks for reading Karly!

      Like

  3. I’ve seen countless ads for charcoal toothpaste all over social media and I almost believed their claims especially with what looks to be solid, factual information on the company’s website. I think it’s a timely reminder for consumers to be a bit more cautious about getting caught up in these fad products and for influencers to be more ethical and transparent, or at least be held accountable for what they promote. A really engaging read, Indiana! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Chauntelle! It definitely reminds us to take a step back and not put our health in the hands of influencers! Influencers definitely need to focus on their transparency and restrain from promoting products they aren’t certain about. I understand it would be hard for influencers to know, but it’s more beneficial for their brand in the long run if they don’t promote these kinds of products.

      Like

  4. great post! I didn’t know that the charcoal toothpaste is actually damaging your teeth, it is shocking cause there are so many influencers recommended it and I was almost tempted to buy one of them. I realise now that not all things influencer said can be trust 100%, thanks for the good read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Tiffany! I’m glad you now know the implications and won’t harm your teeth! I think if influencers were to be held responsible for this sort of thing, they wouldn’t promote risky products they’re on the fence about/don’t know much about. I’m interested to see what happens in the future!

      Like

  5. I’ve never tried one of these online fads, I just don’t really trust them! Most of the people promoting these products have veneers anyway which can’t be whitened! Great post Indiana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t trust them either! That’s hilarious – I didn’t even think about the fact they all have veneers!! Thanks for taking the time to read it, Amelia!

      Like

  6. Thanks for your sharing. I have read the blog and will keep away from these products. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I could guide your purchase decision! Stay away from them!! Thanks for reading!

      Like

  7. Wow, didn’t know about this, I will definitely stick the the regular toothpaste I have been using! But this goes to show how well influencer marketing works in today’s world. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will also be sticking to regular toothpaste! I personally know many people who have purchased such charcoal products and they can’t believe how easily influenced they’ve been from celebrities! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  8. I’m usually pretty skeptical when it comes to promotion of products that don’t have any scientific backing! And in a way I don’t always trust super micro-influencers because I assume they’re only doing the promotion for money or to get their name out there. Thanks for a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great point, I have the same attitude towards influencers – although for some consumers it’s hard to avoid a product when marketed as a miracle product by influencers with such strong claims – especially if someone is self conscious about their teeth!

      Like

  9. Great post! For me I tend to hold back from purchasing products that look like they might be scam. Nonetheless, I have come close to purchasing the HiSmile pack, mainly because it has saturated my feed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s clearly a huge trend with teeth whitening isn’t there! I’ve become increasingly skeptical of other teeth whitening products (even with different ingredients) after seeing how easy it was for a brand to gain the trust of thousands through influencers, without any scientific evidence!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Incredibly well written post Indiana! I’ve always wondered what situations like this! Belle Gibson would be another great example of unsubstantiated hype… unfortunately it’s the classic bystander effect…because of the ease and round the clock accessibility to knowledge the internet provides we assume people/brands to be transparent because you’d surely be caught otherwise… trouble is, no one fact checks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Dimity!! Many similarities could actually be drawn with the Belle Gibson case. Although this is WAY less extreme, many people are self conscious about their teeth colour and desperate to change it – causing them to trust everything influencers are saying without fact checking. It’s worrying in this day and age that this is still happening! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 100% sold me on it, i even bought one of those from this exact brand you showed. Tried the powder form and it was rather awful, never touched it again after trying it for the first time.
    But must say, seeing all these influencers using it definitely hypes up the product a lot. Consumers definitely need to search for more information themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! You’re one of the many consumers who have bought these products and realised it does nothing for your teeth! It’s insane how “influenced” we can be from influencers. You would think people with millions of followers would fact check before influencing those millions!

      Like

  12. I’m not gonna lie I’ve been so tempted to buy the hismile teeth whitener since it’s always on instagram and every influencer and their dog promotes it on every social media platform available – consumers definitely need to know the complications that could arise with experimental products like the charcoal toothpaste and the hismile teeth whitener!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed!! Absolutely seems everyone and their dog promotes it. When you actually remove yourself from the hype and think logically – people are literally rubbing black charcoal on their teeth. I’ve tried whiteners similar to HiSmile and have personally seem no difference!

      Like

  13. Great read! This has been eye-opening since I’ve actually purchased Carbon Coco products and slightly concerned now… It’s very interesting to personally see how influencer marketing has impacted my purchase decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Demi! Let me know if you see any differences in your teeth! I’d love to know what your experience is! Tan in the comments has tried Carbon Coco and says they were awful – would love to know if you have a different experience.

      Like

  14. Wow! I feel so deceived. I unfortunately have purchased this product before and felt as though there was no enhancement of the whiteness of my teeth. It is troubling to see how influencers who most likely have veneers are promoting a product they are unlikely to even be using. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great point, veneers can’t even be whitened and the majority of their influencers clearly have them!! I’m glad you learned something.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Guilty as charged. I bought Carbon Coco due to the hype to try it out. It not only felt uncomfortable, did no effect, it even hurt my teeth. Thereafter, I have been very cautious of my purchases and would rather do my own research and no longer get swayed by influencers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re kidding!! The fact your teeth hurt as well – it’s insane such successful companies can market unsafe products, and convince consumers of this through influencers and social media ads. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

  16. Jeremy Burgenthallen 30 May 2019 — 11:45 pm

    Unqualified people giving advice on nuanced medical issues will always be an issue, particularly when they have a large following!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The backing up of these claims by influencers is my main worry too! Dodgy products will come and go but trusted and admired influencers promoting these products?? It’s a responsibility issue- many influencers in the past have expressed that they’re not to blame after promoting scams like this.

      Like

  17. Thank for sharing. It is actually so hard to believe in those types of advertisement nowadays

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Their credibility is definitely diminishing! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Like

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