Everywhere I look I see ads, videos and commercials for charcoal toothpastes or powders. I have mentioned before that you need to be careful how often and forcefully you use these products. I still think they are worth talking about because clearly a lot of people use them.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

I actually asked myself this very question when I started thinking about this post. I know that it can be used for a variety of medical uses, but what is it that makes it ‘active’? Lucky for me, google is an amazingly rich resource for research.

I found a great WebMD article that gave all the basics. The summary is as follows: Common charcoal is made from a variety of sources that can include coconut shells, peat, coal and wood. Activated charcoal is simply common charcoal heated in the presence of gas to open the pores of the charcoal and increase its surface area. This action allows the charcoal to bind to toxins.


How Does Charcoal Whiten?

Like most whitening toothpastes, charcoal powder or paste is used to remove surface stains on the teeth. The charcoal is applied to the tooth’s surface, the ‘pores’ in the charcoal bind to all things that are rough – plaque and all varieties of stain (wine, coffee, tea, et.). You give that mouth a good rinse and the stain goes down the drain ( I love it when I rhyme) 🙂

What To Look For In A Good One?

I don’t know that there is a lot of regulation in the charcoal toothpaste market. Many of the brands for sale are natural product lines. That means you are going to have to rely on the opinion of others. To be honest, I do this with almost anything I buy and it has rarely disappointed me.

Compare product sizing and pricing. I have come across some products that seem super expensive only to realize with some digging that the container is 3 times the size of the last one I found.

Let’s compare a few varieties that I found on amazon.ca. All content here is Canadian but I am sure the vast majority of them can be found at amazon.com as well.


353 reviews and 4.4 out of 5.0 is pretty good in my books.  My general sense from reading the first few pages of reviews is that people think this works well and tastes great.  It is pricier than regular toothpaste but claims to do so much more!

Only 7 reviews, 4.3 out of 5.0.  However, almost half the price…maybe worth a shot in my books. A good point made in a customer review is that charcoal powders can be very messy compared to a paste. If you have white countertops, beware of charcoal stains with black powders!

Even the big brands are getting in on this trend – not surprisingly. No reviews on this one yet though.  If you try it, you should review it and I would love to hear what you think!

On To Charcoal Powders

50g container, free e-book and toothbrush and 1732 reviews (4.3/5.0), last I checked.  Sounds promising.  The general feeling I get from the reviews is that it is messy, you need to brush and floss afterwards to get all of the black bits out and it works well.

80g container and 44 reviews (4.8/5.0).  People seem to really appreciate the amount of product they get for the price.  Sounds like it tastes great and works well.

If staining is the reason you are unsatisfied with the colour of your teeth, try something with charcoal in it (gently please).  If you do not get good results, it is likely that something more powerful needs to be used.  Do not get aggressive with anything abrasive in your mouth or you will damage your teeth permanently.

If you try any activated charcoal toothpastes or powders, tell me about the ones you liked or disliked below. I would love to hear how your whitening journey is going.


Dr. Jen

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