Smile Beautifully with Black Paste

Activated Charcoal: The new "it" product for a stunning smile. Or is it?

Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”  I think we can all agree that Thich Nhat Hanh had a deeper meaning than just shiny, white teeth, but it seems like a great beginning to the Vietnamese monk's assessment of a smiles' value.

In today’s American pop culture having a bright, beautiful smile is an essential part of one’s image. We are constantly seeking out new procedures, products or technologies that can provide us with a radiantly white smile with the least amount of cost, medium amount of effort and the maximum amount of results.


activated charcoal for teeth whitening

So let’s talk about activated charcoal. This new product is blowing up the online market. It boasts 100% natural ingredients, stunning results and highly favorable reviews. However, some users have experienced gum sensitivity, no measurable results, and loss of enamel. So is it worth it? Does it do the job or is this just one more marketing scam?


Don’t be fooled by great marketing initiatives. Read the labels carefully, check ingredients and read reviews. Products that have an extensive number of positive reviews are going to be a good place to start. Wanting to know more about this "hot" new product we spent some time investigating if activated charcoal does what it claims in that it "whitens teeth to an ultimate level".  After some research this is what we uncovered.


Activated charcoal has been around for a long time and well used in a number of different ways. From skin care products to poison control interventions, air filters and more. It is no surprise that is has made its way through active marketing into improving our smiles. Many people who use activated charcoal for teeth whitening are convinced of the results despite of any possible side effects.


So how exactly does activated charcoal whiten teeth?


Charcoal is a porous, absorbent substance, allowing surface materials to be “soaked” up by the charcoal. The concept is simple: the activated charcoal can bind stains, like coffee or food, thus removing them from the surface of your teeth. It comes in a powdered form, typically sourced from coconut. You wet a toothbrush, dip it in the powder, and brush your teeth for 1-2 minutes, once a day. Different companies state results can be seen after just one use [see Active Wow Teeth Whitening Charcoal Powder here].


Dental Teeth Whitening

 Due to the recent popularity of the product, dentists are now becoming part of the equation, adding their concerns and recommendations for use. Since it is an abrasive substance, it is possible to have gum sensitivity and also a negative effect on enamel. There also does not seem to be any clinical studies on activated charcoals' effectiveness and possible side effects.


Minneapolis-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association Dr. Kim Harms, DDS says to hold off. “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth,” says Dr. Harms. She worries about the potential damage the grainy substance can do to your teeth and gums. “Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth. We don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of it,” she says.  Additionally attempts to use charcoal in toothpaste have not been met with tremendous success.

Dr. Harms also notes that activated charcoal should not replace everyday teeth cleaning and regular visits to the dentist. “The important part of brushing and flossing is the physical removal of plaque. The toothpaste you’re using, from a dentist’s point of view, delivers fluoride to teeth,” she says. “We’re concerned about practices where people are using products without fluoride. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.”1

Activated charcoal may be able to provide you with a quick gleaming white smile with little effort, in a short time frame at a low cost and with no dental appointments necessary.  However, while many people claim to have positive results with just a few uses as with any aggressively marketed product be sure to really do your homework here.  If you already have sensitive teeth or gums this may not be a good solution.

We cannot endorse or encourage the use of any products and we highly recommend that before you try any products or procedures please make sure to speak to your dentist about which selection you are considering.





Dr. Steven Danney