Teeth Whitening With Activated Charcoal

You may have seen this teeth whitening trend here and there. Activated charcoal has become the trendiest DIY way of whitening your teeth.

teeth whitening with activated charcoal

If you haven’t heard of activated charcoal, then this is the article for your. We’re going to explain what it is, how it works and why it works. Just keep on reading!

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is very similar to the regular charcoal you can fire up your barbeque with. However it is specifically used for medical applications. Heating up charcoal using a gas that creates large pores in the mineral, which trap chemicals, creates it. Activated charcoal is more traditionally used to treat intestinal gas, cholestasis during pregnancy, and lower cholesterol levels. It is odourless, tasteless, and can be purchased from health food stores and pharmacies in the form of tablets.

teeth whitening with activated charcoal

How does it work?

The activated charcoal’s pores bind with rough parts on teeth, usually surface stains and plaque, making it easier to remove the yellowing substances. Once the charcoal has been given enough time to stick to your teeth, it can be removed. When it is, the mineral takes the plaque, food particles, and surface stains with it. This is how the activated charcoal succeeds in whitening teeth – by getting rid of surface stains in one fell swoop.

However, because it latches onto grittiness found on the teeth, activated charcoal does not change the colour of teeth that are deeply stained or naturally yellowing. For this, more drastic whitening measures need to be taken such as professional bleaching.

teeth whitening with activated charcoal

Is it safe?

Activated charcoal is safe to ingest. However the abrasiveness of the mineral can damage the enamel of your teeth if it’s scrubbed against them. Be very careful to only lightly graze teeth when applying the activated charcoal to them so not scratching, chipping, or other damage occurs. Do not perform this procedure if you have any open wounds, cuts, or abrasions.

However, for teeth whitening it is usually best to consult your dentist. If you do not have a dentist, or are looking for a new dental practice, you can find your ideal dentist by using Defacto Dentists online directory. We feature the best dental practices in the UK.

So, how do you do it?

The first step in whitening your teeth with activated charcoal is to purchase the mineral from your local health food store or pharmacy. Generally, the mineral is sold in tablet form so the next step is to grind up 1-2 tablets, which is about 1-2 teaspoons worth, in a container. Once the charcoal is a fine dust, add just enough water to form a paste.

teeth whitening with activated charcoal

The next step is to apply the paste directly onto your teeth. They do not necessarily have to be clean. Making sure to only dab or tap the mixture onto teeth, rather than rubbing it on, to avoid damaging your teeth. Leave the activated 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 thoroughly rinse your mouth out several times before brushing your teeth clean.

If you’re thinking of using this method, we hope it works out for you. If you’ve already tried it before, let us know! Did it work for you? Or do you have any more hints and tips to share with us?


  1. Giacomo Tessa on 14 October 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Really interesting article. Surely there is more and more attention and concerns on “how to” keep your teeth shiny and white. People are showing more interest on the subject and that’s why there are a lot of alternative remedies are coming up. Personally I believe that a correct diet and a constant dental hygiene is key whitening your teeth.


    • PatriciaDD on 20 October 2016 at 9:48 am

      We agree, Giacomo! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Rock House Dental Practice on 21 August 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I think many of the unregulated charcoal tooth whitening toothpastes and products are dangerous. However, recently, there have been some regulated products released and we have seen good results. I would advise that patients use only those products that are recommended by a dental care professional.

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