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Does Activated Charcoal whiten teeth?

Updated on November 15, 2017

I have seen a few ads on various social media outlets regarding activated charcoal being used as a natural whitening agent for teeth. The ads generally feature women in bathroom settings brushing their teeth with the death black substance (for 3 minutes as instructed by the pirate mouthed beauty guru in the video) to reveal pearly whites that you can basically see from space. My partner is a smoker and also a grape farmer, and wine is plentiful in our home, as are teeth stains I suppose.The instant gratification sector of my brain started flashing and I knew I needed to try this magical, result getting, sludge looking potion. Activated charcoal is specifically used for medical applications. It’s created by heating up charcoal using a gas that creates large pores in the mineral which trap chemicals. It is odourless and tasteless.

The social media brands were priced a tad high for my liking ($49.95 for the most popular brand) so I went looking for an alternate product, generic or knock off. I ended up finding generic Activated charcoal capsules (90) for $.13.99 at the drug store.I love a deal, how could I resist? Activated charcoal can be used to remedy poisoning, or help with gas issues. Some people also scrub their bodies with the charcoal, as it is popular now in face wash. Now the capsules are easy to break apart onto a wet toothbrush, so the different form of delivery really doesn't bother me.

I based my experiment on a 7 day trial, 1 time a day, for 3 minutes at time( I have sensitive gums so I brushed lightly and applied a paste instead of brushing hard for 3 minutes as instructed).

Activated Charcoal capsules

Day 1: "Brushed" for 5 minutes. Made a small mess as the powder gets all over my sink, but easily cleanable. I was a bit worried the death black powder would turn my teeth black as it looks as though it would easily stain, but there was no real issue. I did have a small amount of the powder still stuck in my gums, which I flossed out after. Teeth felt smooth and very clean. Looked slightly more white, the stain down the middle of my tooth seemed to be lifted. There may have been a chance my mind was seeing things, in my quest to find the secret to the pearliest of whites.

Day 2-6 : Scrubbed teeth and sat around making faces at myself for 3 minutes. Rinsed and examined. Teeth seem slightly cleaner/whiter. I legitimately feel the charcoal scrubs stains off with its grit. Could still be pseudo results. Who knows.

Day 7: Teeth have definitely whitened, not visible from space, but still major stains gone! Not the Whitening tool the internet tells you it will be, but still a successful cleaning agent in its own respect.


Activated Charcoal WILL de-stain your teeth, the rough grit of the charcoal will scrub your teeth smooth and stain free. Will not make teeth the whitest colour on the block but it will lift coffee, wine, and smoking stains! Will recommend to anyone looking to amp up their oral health, and satisfy their cosmetic preferences!


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