How to Safely Whiten Your Teeth With Activated Charcoal

Plus a 5th bonus remedy for good measure

In this article, you will learn:

  • How activated charcoal naturally whitens teeth
  • What pure activated products do to your teeth
  • Helpful tips for whitening teeth with activated charcoal


You may have seen people brushing with a dark powder to get whiter teeth.

This powder is activated charcoal and before you dip your toothbrush into a dark jar of this natural teeth whitening powder, there are some things you should know.

Yes, activated charcoal can help whiten teeth, but did you know dark black activated charcoal can actually tattoo your gums & tongue an unsightly dark color?

Whether you’re new to activated charcoal or a hardcore devotee, we’re here to share the truth so that you can harness the benefits of activated charcoal properly.

How does activated charcoal naturally whiten teeth?

Activated charcoal is created when wood, peat, bamboo, or coconuts are burned at extremely high temperatures with a gas.

This process creates a porous surface within activated charcoal particles that allow activated charcoal to absorb toxins. 

Traditionally, activated charcoal is used in hospitals during instances of poisonings or overdoses because activated charcoal’s quick adsorption abilities.

Recently, activated charcoal has made its way as a popular ingredient in personal care products.

When used for teeth whitening, activated charcoal binds onto tannins (stain-causing pigments found in foods and drinks) and helps polish away surface stains.

What do pure activated charcoal products do to your teeth?

It seems like everywhere you turn on social media, someone is brushing with a dark mouthful of activated charcoal.

The truth is that this dark black pigment from activated charcoal can lead to a tattooed tongue with repeated use.

And sure, your teeth may appear whiter, but this may happen because the contrast between your teeth and dark tattooed gums trick your eye into believing it. 

Another side effect of using pure activated charcoal is that it's abrasive and damaging to tooth enamel.

Dr. Brite co-founder and veteran dentist, Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, DDS, explains that:

“Not only can the gums become stained or tattooed with the dark pigment found in most activated charcoal products, but activated charcoal used on its own can be disastrous for the enamel of your teeth.
When the enamel of your teeth is eroded, this can lead to teeth sensitivity and even tooth decay.

While activated charcoal is great at whitening teeth by polishing away surface stains, there can definitely be too much of a good thing.

Instead of relying on activated charcoal powders that contain a single ingredient for brushing your teeth, it’s better to choose a white activated charcoal toothpaste that is balanced with effective botanical ingredients and won’t stain your gums."


Helpful Tips for Teeth Whitening with Activated Charcoal

Echoing Dr. Ramezani, it’s best to stay away from brushing your teeth with pure activated charcoal.

Your enamel and gums will definitely thank you in the process.

If you still want the teeth whitening benefits of activated charcoal, choose a toothpaste or mouthwash that is carefully formulated with white activated charcoal.

How is white activated charcoal formed?

White activated charcoal is the gray ash that is finely-milled and separated from the dark ash that creates common activated charcoal products.

This light color has all of the same teeth whitening properties as dark activated charcoal, yet it doesn’t stain gums!

Dr. Brite, for instance, uses just the right amount of white activated charcoal in its toothpaste, mouthwash, and oral care sprays so that teeth can be naturally brighter.

Dr. Brite also balances activated charcoal with holistic ingredients to create truly natural formulas that are safe-to-swallow and give a gentle cleaning experience.

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