FOX23 Investigates: Charcoal Toothpaste Lawsuit

Charcoal toothpaste investigation

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma attorney is suing Hello Products, LLC. over its charcoal toothpaste.

William Federman says the toothpaste is abrasive and permanently damaged his clients’ teeth -- removing the enamel.

Destinee Setzler says she started using charcoal toothpaste when she went vegan. She stopped three years later when her dentist told her she had more cavities than usual -- and something was rubbing the enamel off of her teeth.

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FOX23's Michelle Linn investigates the lawsuit against Hello Products, LLC. over its charcoal toothpaste.
FOX23's Michelle Linn investigates the lawsuit against Hello Products, LLC. over its charcoal toothpaste. (FOX23)

Dr. Mark Davis of The Perfect Smile told FOX23 if someone uses the toothpaste daily it will do more than just remove stains.

Dr. Davis says whitening doesn’t really happen until the tooth under the enamel is made more white -- something done in a dental office.

Charcoal toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride so the FDA regulates it as a cosmetic instead of a drug.

Hello Products, LLC. sent FOX23 the following statement:

"The American Dental Association (ADA) has established an abrasiveness scale, referred to as an RDA (Relative Dental Abrasivity) rating for toothpastes. The safe range for RDA goes from 0 to 250 – anything under 250 is considered safe for daily use according to ADA standards, and anything above 250 is considered to be a potential hazard to your enamel. Our activated charcoal toothpaste has been tested by an independent 3rd party laboratory and found to fall well within the range that the ADA considers to be safe.

For additional information on the ADA’s view on RDA, please see https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes (under the heading “Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA)”).

'“Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, the dentin that lies beneath it can become exposed—through, for example, wear of the enamel or gingival recession. Because of concern about abrasion of these tissues, scientists have spent decades researching and monitoring the effect of dentifrice abrasives on these tooth structures.

To help quantify the abrasivity of dentifrices, the ADA along with various academic, industry and government agencies established a standardized scale called Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA).25 This scale assigns dentifrices an abrasivity value, relative to a standard reference abrasive that is arbitrarily given an RDA value of 100.25, 26 All dentifrices at or below 2.5 times the reference value, or 250 RDA, are considered safe and effective.27 In fact, clinical evidence supports that lifetime use of proper brushing technique with a toothbrush and toothpaste at an RDA of 250 or less produces limited wear to dentin and virtually no wear to enamel.28

Relative dentin abrasivity can be used by industry, researchers, or standards organizations to develop new products or to conduct quality control.26It should not be used to rank the safety of dentifrices with RDA values below 250. These values do not correspond to potential clinical changes to enamel.25, 26

The RDA testing method and the upper limit of 250 has been adopted by the American National Standards Institute/American Dental Association (ANSI/ADA) and is included in the manufacturing standards outlined in ANSI/ADA Standard No. 130:2013 on toothpastes.29”'