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Charcoal Teeth Whitening

Does teeth whitening with charcoal actually work?

charcoal teeth whitening

“The results of this literature review showed insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices. Larger-scale and well-designed studies are needed to establish conclusive evidence…Dental clinicians should advise their patients to be cautious when using charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices with unproven claims of efficacy and safety.”

American Dental Association (ADA)


“By brushing your teeth with activated charcoal, the highly absorbent charcoal will absorb and remove surface stains from the teeth”


tooth enamel erosion

Charcoal powder, regardless of how fine, is abrasive. Abrasive products added to any brushing routine will lead to enamel erosion. Abrasion on enamel will lead to easier staining and increased (permanent) sensitivity.

Charcoal does not remove stains through absorption but rather, through removing enamel and exposed superficial stains.

Activated charcoal cannot penetrate pores in the teeth and thus cannot remove stains deeper in the tooth. Only approved dental whitening products can properly seep into enamel pores/dentin to remove deeper stains.

Prolonged use of charcoal to whiten teeth is likely to lead to dramatic enamel erosion and permanent damage to the tooth with incredibly superficial results.


charcoal teeth whitening powder

Both mainstream media and the ADA have been unable to substantiate any claims that charcoal can effectively whiten teeth. Further, the prolonged use of charcoal may lead to permanent damage and sensitivity. Although this DIY teeth whitening process has been promoted as a natural teeth whitening alternative, dentists and professional dental associations recommend that patients should opt for a formally tested and vetted teeth whitening procedure for optimal safety and results.

Erin Stelbrink

Erin Stelbrink is a Registered Dental Hygienist with 5+ years of experience as a licensed hygienist and oral health care professional. She holds a passion for researching and acquiring awareness of the latest technologies and methods for providing valuable health care service and clinical treatment. Have more questions? Email Erin at