Activated charcoal is a form of powder made when natural substances such as coconut shells, olive pits, slowly burned wood and peat are grained. This is similar to regular charcoal, however, it’s specifically made for medical purposes. To activate the powder, you need to oxidize it under extreme heat. After oxidization, you obtain a porous and highly absorbent activated charcoal. This product was used traditionally to treat intestinal gas, cholestasis during pregnancy, and lower cholesterol levels. Due to its absorbing nature, activated charcoal can stop certain types of poison from being absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. Also, activated charcoal can bind to toxins thus people believe it can whiten teeth too. But does activated charcoal really whiten teeth?

Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening

Plenty of toothpaste dental products in stores have been made with activated charcoal. These products claim that they can remove coffee stains and plaque. However, there is no conclusive report to support those claims. To such effect, the American Dental Association (ADA) doesn’t recognize these products thus they don’t have Seal of Acceptance. The ADA, further says that activated charcoal’s abrasive texture can even cause harm to the teeth rather than whitening them by wearing down tooth enamel. But is that enough to stop one from trying activated charcoal toothpaste? If you feel you’re fine learning if these products work or not, then here is a DIY guide.

Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening DIY

For those willing to try and see if activated charcoal can whiten their teeth, they should purchase it as a powder or in capsules that can open. Mix the powder with water to form a paste or try and sprinkle the charcoal powder onto a wet finger or toothbrush. The charcoal powder is tasteless. Be careful it can get messy and stain almost everything in your house. In fact, your tongue might remain discolored unless you scrub it properly. You should leave the charcoal paste on your teeth for three minutes to ensure that it has had enough time to bind with surface stains on your teeth, then rinse your teeth before brushing.

The Results

According to a number of people who have tried the DIY charcoal powder to whiten their teeth, they said that their teeth were noticeably whiter by week two of using charcoal. Somehow this is tangible proof that activated charcoal powder can be used to whiten teeth. Remember you should stop using the charcoal whenever you feel your teeth are as white as you wanted them to be.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe

Now, before you start using charcoal products, it’s important you consider all options. You need to use teeth products that won’t wear down your enamel. Because overuse of activated charcoal products can lead to teeth erosion, you should use the product cautiously. You are advised to choose a toothpaste with relative dentin abrasively (RDA) level of 250 or less. Look for charcoal products which meet those guidelines. Additionally, you can reduce the abrasiveness by using your fingers to rub to your teeth rather than using a toothbrush. Generally, activated charcoal is safe to digest but may not be appropriate for use by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Also, consult your dentist before carrying out the procedure since you might not see the results you expected due to your specific situation.

Alternative Home Teeth Whiteners

Brushing your teeth twice a day and after consuming drinks that stain teeth such as black coffee and red wine can help protect your teeth. There are other safe and natural teeth whitening ways you can try at home. They include:

Baking soda:

This product is found in multiple types toothpaste and it’s a natural tooth whitener. At home, you can make a paste by combining it with water. Also, baking soda can be used as a breath freshener.

Diluted hydrogen peroxide:

Can be used to whiten teeth over time. It’s used to rinse your teeth before and after brushing. Never use the concentrated form of it because it can irritate gum.

Any product with ADA Seal of Acceptance:

These include over the counter whitening strips, gels, and toothpaste. Remember to read their reviews before buying.


Activated charcoal has a lot of proven uses with teeth whitening yet to be fully confirmed. Other benefits of activated charcoal include reducing underarm and flatulence odor it’s also and used in facial masks and shampoos. Remember, if you’re using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, use it in moderation. Basically, it shouldn’t be a long term option as it can erode tooth enamel. If you feel activated charcoal teeth whitener is worth giving a try, you should talk to your dentist to give you directions.

All images by Pixabay


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