Does Charcoal Toothpaste Really Work?

Charcoal teeth whitening is one of the biggest trends in the cosmetic industry. Known for its whitening effects, activated charcoal is found in many toothpaste products. But, does charcoal toothpaste work for teeth whitening? Is charcoal toothpaste safe? Read on to learn all about the benefits and disadvantages.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is treated carbon. Its surface is porous, acting like a magnet for other particles like oils and dirt. Then, when it’s washed off, so are these unwanted substances.

Charcoal toothpaste works in this same way. They suck everything in its path – bacteria, tartar, viruses, and stains. Charcoal is so powerful that it’s even used in hospitals to treat patients suffering from poisoning or a drug overdose.

The effects of this substance has led many people to use it on their teeth in hopes to achieve a whiter smile.

Charcoal Teeth Whitening: Does It Work?

Does charcoal toothpaste work to whiten teeth? While there is no evidence stating it does, many users claim that activated charcoal in toothpaste helps remove surface stains, consequently making smiles whiter. The next section will help you decide if this remedy is for you.

Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe?

There isn’t enough research on charcoal toothpaste to determine if it’s safe or not. A study conducted in 2017 warns against the use of this toothpaste due to its unproven claims. However, just because something hasn’t been proven to be effective doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or is unsafe. Here is what we do know about these toothpaste: 

  • Charcoal toothpaste shouldn’t be used every day because they’re too abrasive. This will wear down the enamel, making teeth look more yellow and feel more sensitive. 
  • Fluoride is an important component of toothpaste. It’s what keeps tooth enamel strong and protects it against cavities. Unfortunately, most charcoal toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride. 
  • There is zero knowledge on how it affects dental restorations, like the materials used to make crowns, bridges, veneers, or white fillings.


The Advantages of Charcoal Toothpaste

To this day, the only known and boasted benefits of charcoal toothpaste are that it helps remove stains on teeth, can improve bad breath, and helps prevent staining.

The Disadvantages of Charcoal Toothpaste 

The biggest cons of using this toothpaste are that it’s very abrasive and may wear down tooth enamel. Using it every day can lead to sensitive teeth. Also, most brands don’t contain fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Finally, its long-term effects are still unknown, so use it at your risk!

Teeth Whitening Alternatives 

There are other teeth whitening alternatives to try that don’t include charcoal toothpaste. For instance, many over-the-counter products are endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA). You can also get professional products through your dentist. These include: 

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Whitening strips
  • In-office whitening services 
  • Dentist supervised at-home whitening


If you’re shopping for these products at a store or online, look for products that are approved by the ADA. Further, look for some that contain hydrogen peroxide and blue covarine (both are great whitening ingredients).

Natural Home Remedies

Then, of course, you have those popular home remedies. The easiest way to keep a sparkling smile is by flossing and brushing your teeth daily. Brush after meals and drinking teeth-staining beverages like coffee, wine, tea. This will help you maintain a whiter smile. 

Also, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are commonly used products. For hydrogen peroxide: 

  1. Mix equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide (½ cup of each).
  2. Swish this mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  3. Spit the solution and rinse. If it starts hiring your mouth before 30 seconds are up, spit it out.

If you choose to use the baking soda method, simply mix 1 tsp of baking soda with 2 tbsps of water. Brush your teeth with this paste – you can do this 2-3 times a week.

Speak with your dentist before you try these options to learn if they’re right for you. 

The Takeaway: Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work?

Charcoal toothpaste continues to get a lot of attention and press; however, its effects aren’t proven to be more effective than other at-home whitening products on the market. If you’re looking for a way to achieve a whiter smile, consider ADA-approved products or speak with your dentist for the best whitening option. 

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