You might see the word “charcoal” and think people are crazy for putting that stuff on their teeth.
But word has it that it can actually work, especially if it’s charcoal toothpaste.Creative Commons
Charcoal Teeth Whitening – How Does It Work?
Activated charcoal is made from coal, wood, or other materials. It becomes activated when you bring it to high temperatures and combine it with gas. This expands its surface area and makes it more porous, which allows for more room to store toxins.
Then you can put this in toothpaste and use it like you would any other type of toothpaste on the market.
When you consume activated charcoal, it binds to toxins and rids them from the body. So when you brush it onto your teeth, it binds to unwanted substances and pulls them from your teeth. Thus, it can help whiten your smile.
Best Charcoal Toothpastes
To help you in your buying decision, we put together a list of the top charcoal toothpastes currently on the market. Each toothpaste listed includes a quick overview, and you can also click the link to get more info about the product on Amazon. We should note that the ADA has a seal of approval for products that have been tested for efficacy and safety. And these products do not have the ADA seal of approval.
Dental Expert’s charcoal toothpaste can whiten teeth and help bad breath. Plus, it’s mint flavored, so it makes your mouth feel extra fresh.
About 77% of the nearly 3,000 Amazon reviews are five stars while about 12% are four stars.
- Nice minty flavor
- Much less messy than other charcoal toothpastes
- Consistency is much more like standard toothpaste
- May take several brushing sessions to show results
- Claims to have “no sulfates” even though “sulfate” is listed as an ingredient
Twin Lotus’ charcoal toothpaste has a triple-action formula: it annihilates bacteria, removes odor, and also masks the odor. Some users say it tastes bad, but if it works, then you may be willing to put up with it.
On Amazon, about 70% of the reviews are four or five stars, which say things like “Makes teeth gradually whiter” and “OMG! This Stuff is Awesome!!”
- Has a pleasant herbal taste
- Freshens breath
- May take weeks to see results
- Quite messy
Cali White says this charcoal toothpaste is “nature’s answer to teeth whitening” and uses organic coconut oil, baking soda, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. And it includes no fluoride, SLS, peroxide, or parabens.
It has a mint flavor to it, so it doesn’t have the typical gross charcoal flavor that a lot of toothpastes have. Although some reviewers point out that the Pacific Mint flavor is really just “tea tree oil/baking soda flavored.” Apparently, though, it works because most of the reviews are four and five stars.
- Effective at removing teeth stains
- Easy to clean up after brushing
- Taste is not too popular among users
Using mint-flavored activated coconut charcoal, this toothpaste can both remove stains and freshen your breath. Plus, it claims to be able to polish and remineralize your teeth, which can add protection and restore damage.
At the time of this writing, this product has over 1,600 reviews and about three-fourths of them are five stars.
- May show results after just one use
- Not as messy as other charcoal toothpastes
- Minty flavor is sub-par
- Toothpaste tube runs out faster than other charcoal toothpastes
This toothpaste prides itself on being free of ingredients that could “have a negative impact on your microbial or overall health,” like fluoride, Triclosan, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. It states that coconut charcoal is “nature’s best purifier” and a great teeth whitening agent. It also says its components can help your teeth and gums stay healthy as well as fight bad breath.
Most users are happy with this product, including one person who says they’re “never going back to typical toothpaste!”
- Includes probiotics
- May see results after just a couple uses
- Unpleasant taste
This USA-made charcoal toothpaste also says it has only natural ingredients and no harmful chemical substances. They say this toothpaste is great for people with sensitive teeth and gums, and echoes the idea that coconut is the best natural purifier.
A little more than seven out of 10 users of this toothpaste are completely happy with it.
“Product works as described,” one reviewer writes. “It’s important to follow the instructions using in twice a day. After a week of use, I already noticed a difference and after a month I’m looking to buy more soon!”
- Effectively removes coffee and wine teeth stains
- Fresh minty taste
- Freshens breath
- Consistency is a bit watery
- Can cause tooth sensitivity
Colgate’s charcoal toothpaste has a “unique formula” that has micro charcoal particles in it that are supposed to penetrate the areas between the teeth. This method is meant to better fight germ and plaque buildup. It also offers 12-hour protection of your teeth.
As big of a name as Colgate, it’s surprising that nearly 40% of Amazon reviewers gave it a 3-star rating or less, with just over 40% giving it five stars. However, Colgate is still a trusted name, so this charcoal toothpaste is one of the best you’ll find online.
- Not black colored like most charcoal toothpaste
- Infused with charcoal
- The company sometimes delivers expired tubes of toothpaste
- Not American-made
Where You Can Buy Charcoal Toothpaste
You can get charcoal toothpaste pretty much anywhere you can get standard toothpaste. Amazon is the most well-known charcoal toothpaste provider, but you can also check out places like Target, WalMart, and Thrive Market.
Also, you’re local health and beauty store most likely offers charcoal toothpaste, although it may be more expensive than some of the aforementioned online retailers.
How To Use Charcoal Toothpaste
Using charcoal toothpaste is actually pretty simple — you use it just like normal toothpaste. The biggest difference is that when you brush, you should do so gently.
Also, you can use regular toothpaste three times or more per day. But with charcoal toothpaste, you don’t want to use it too much or it could do damage to your teeth.
Charcoal Toothpaste Before-And-After
So does this actually work? These people tested charcoal toothpaste and show their before-and-after results.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe?
If you’re going to use charcoal toothpaste, you should know exactly what you’re doing. Because if you don’t do it properly, it could actually damage your teeth.
Think of charcoal toothpaste as sandpaper. It can help remove bad things, but using it too often can scrape the enamel off of your teeth.
Charcoal Teeth Whitening Dangers
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news when it comes to using charcoal on your teeth. In fact, if charcoal toothpaste is the only thing you’re brushing teeth with, that could be putting your teeth health in danger. The reason is that your toothpaste needs to have enough fluoride in it to protect against decay, but charcoal toothpaste prides itself on being “natural” and often doesn’t contain fluoride.
Plus, as we briefly mentioned earlier, charcoal is very abrasive and could potentially damage your teeth. It can make your enamel rougher, which makes it easier for bacteria to stick to it.
And the bottom line is that charcoal toothpaste is unproven. So until we learn more through scientific experiments and testing, you should be cautious if you want to use this type of toothpaste.
Charcoal Toothpaste Benefits
On the flip side, if you use charcoal toothpaste correctly, sparingly, and under the direction of your dentist, you can benefit from it.
Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Advantages
Many people wonder, “Does charcoal toothpaste actually work?” Except that’s not a specific enough question. We should be asking, “Does it work for teeth whitening?”
The short answer is maybe, but you should use it as a stain remover instead of a teeth whitener. What’s the difference?
Stains are on the surface and they’re from the things you’d expect: coffee, tobacco, red wine, etc. They are on the enamel and can be removed with your typical toothpaste or some whitening products.
However, there are deeper stains that can come from weak enamel, medications, and too much fluoride. These are the stains that determine the color of your teeth, regardless of using charcoal toothpaste. You can whiten below the enamel by using bleach whitening, but that can be hazardous to your teeth.
(The systematic review completed by Hasson et al. reported that tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation were the most common adverse effects of whitening in 18 out of 28 studies, with tooth sensitivity affecting a range of 8 to 41 percent of participants in one study.)
Basically, you can use charcoal products to help remove superficial stains, but doing so should never replace a proper deep cleaning from your dentist.
If you decide to use charcoal toothpaste, keep in mind that no scientific evidence exists that support the use of it. The abrasive properties of toothpastes with charcoal is one of the main concerns with using it.
There is, however, anecdotal evidence that it can whiten teeth.
If you have a concern, talk to your dentist.