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Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does charcoal teeth whitening work?
How long should I brush my teeth with activated charcoal?
How long does it take for activated charcoal to whiten teeth?
Does activated charcoal teeth whiteners contain any chemical ingredients?
Is activated charcoal safe to use on sensitive teeth/gums?
Can activated charcoal damage the enamel on my teeth?
Can activated charcoal teeth whitening be used by people wearing braces?
Does activated charcoal replace toothpaste or am I meant to use both?
Do you brush your teeth with toothpaste after using charcoal?
How many times can you use activated charcoal on your teeth? Can you use charcoal toothpaste every day?
Is it safe to brush your teeth with activated charcoal?
Is charcoal toothpaste good for you?
What is the best charcoal toothpaste on the market?
Why would you brush your teeth with charcoal?
Is it safe to brush your teeth with baking soda?
How does activated charcoal clean your teeth?
What are the benefits of brushing your teeth with activated charcoal?
How do you whiten your teeth with activated charcoal?
What is the best way to whiten your teeth at home?
Is activated charcoal teeth whitening powder natural?
Can you use activated charcoal to brush your teeth?
How long do you leave charcoal toothpaste on teeth?
Can you use activated charcoal on implants?
5 Tips Before and After Getting Dental Implants

How does charcoal teeth whitening work?

Activated charcoal helps absorb and remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel. It does so because activated charcoal is porous, allowing it to trap substances you don’t want on your teeth. Plus, it has a natural adhesive quality that makes it bind to the things that stain your teeth, like the dental plaque.

How long should I brush my teeth with activated charcoal?

Cover the top of your wet toothbrush bristles with activated charcoal, using a circular motion brush for roughly 2-3 minutes. If you have sensitive teeth, you should try using a soft toothbrush. 4-5 times a week should suffice.

How long does it take for activated charcoal to whiten teeth?

Results can vary depending on several factors including your habits as well as the type of stains on your tooth enamel. In most cases, you should see noticeable results after one week of regular use. During this period, charcoal should help remove exterior stains/discolouration from the surface of your teeth caused by daily food and drink without altering your enamel.

Does activated charcoal teeth whiteners contain any chemical ingredients?

Some activated charcoal teeth whitening powders do contain chemicals such as synthetic flavours, preservatives, colourants and other chemicals. You should, therefore, read the ingredient on the label of the product to see what the formulation contains. There are charcoal teeth whitening powders out there that don't have any chemicals and just contain activated charcoal.

Is activated charcoal safe to use on sensitive teeth/gums?

Since your tooth enamel does not regrow or regenerate, using a substance that could potentially wear down the tooth enamel may be detrimental. Therefore it's important to find a good charcoal tooth whitening powder that isn't too abrasive. The whitening ability of charcoal is due to its porous nature, but the trouble resides in its abrasiveness. You should check the RDA for the charcoal powder to ensure the product isn't too abrasive. The ISO specification states that toothpaste should not exceed an RDA of 250, which is considered the safe limit for hard tissues, and that toothpaste with an RDA value below 250 is safe for daily use. This RDA threshold applies to activated charcoal as well. 

Can activated charcoal damage the enamel on my teeth?

It depends on the type of activated charcoal in the teeth whitening powder. Activated charcoal is manufactured in a variety of grades for different industries and product applications, some grades of activated charcoal have fine particle sizes whilst others have larger granules. You should avoid activated charcoal with larger granules as they could be abrasive.

Can activated charcoal teeth whitening be used by people wearing braces?

In the vast majority of cases, you could use activated charcoal for teeth if you are wearing braces but you have to use with moderation and brushing should be done lightly with soft bristle toothbrush. It is highly advisable to consult your dentist to ensure activated charcoal is appropriate for you.

Does activated charcoal replace toothpaste or am I meant to use both?

Activated charcoal powder does not replace your regular toothpaste, therefore, you should be using both as they have different functions. For example, activated charcoal powder helps remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel but it does not freshen your breath the way a normal toothpaste would.  

Do you brush your teeth with toothpaste after using charcoal?

Yes, you should brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste after you have used activated charcoal powder. This is because activated charcoal teeth whiteners use fine charcoal powder which can sometimes stick to your gum lines and the best way to get rid of the charcoal residue is to rinse thoroughly and use your regular toothpaste afterwards.

How many times can you use activated charcoal on your teeth? Can you use charcoal toothpaste every day?

You can use charcoal toothpaste every day depending on the type of charcoal toothpaste you are using. For example, if it is a black charcoal toothpaste in gel or "paste" format then you could use it twice a day using any toothbrush. However, if it is a charcoal tooth whitening powder then you need using a soft bristle toothbrush. When using activated charcoal powder, you should avoid brushing aggressively even when you are using a soft bristle toothbrush

Is it safe to brush your teeth with activated charcoal?

The short answer is, but it depends on the type of activated charcoal used in the product and how you use it. The ISO specification states that toothpaste should not exceed RDA of 250, which is considered the safe limit for hard tissues, and that toothpaste with RDA value below 250 is safe for daily use. The same RDA threshold applies to activated charcoal teeth whitening powders. 

Our teeth whitening powder meets the Cosmetic Regulations 1223/2009, brought in on July 2013 by European parliament. This was to ensure a set standard for cosmetic products available on the market. For this, our products had to be tested in a laboratory environment in the UK to pass safety and EU compliance.

Is charcoal toothpaste good for you?

Activated charcoal could be effective in whitening teeth for most people as it naturally binds with coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco which are surface-staining substances. 

What is the best charcoal toothpaste on the market?

The best charcoal toothpaste use extremely fine activated charcoal with an acceptable RDA. This will ensure the formulation is gentle on the tooth enamel and is effective in lifting stains caused by coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco. It is prudent to go with a reputable brand to ensure you are using a product that meets all the safety regulations.

Why would you brush your teeth with charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance which binds with coffee, tea, wine and tobacco stains. This helps remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel. Furthermore, activated charcoal helps detoxify your mouth, gums and helps promote fresh breath. 

Is it safe to brush your teeth with baking soda?

Baking soda for teeth whitening can work for some people. However, if you don't use the right grade of baking soda then it can be a little too abrasive on your teeth. If you intend to remove tea, wine, tobacco and coffee stains then baking soda may not be as effective as activated charcoal.

The Journal of the American Dental Association has a great piece on whether baking soda works and its effect on plaque acidity, oral bacteria, teeth whitening and stain removal.

How does activated charcoal clean your teeth?

Activated charcoal helps remove day to day stains from the surface of your tooth enamel due to its absorbent and porous nature. Technically speaking, activated charcoal doesn't whiten teeth, it simply helps remove plaque and stains on the surface of your teeth. This helps reveal the natural colour of your enamel which would be "whiter" when the stains are removed.

For more details, you can read more on NetDoctor about the adhesive qualities of activated charcoal that binds it with bacteria, tartar and any stains.

What are the benefits of brushing your teeth with activated charcoal?

There are numerous benefits of using activated charcoal. First, it can help get rid of stubborn stains on the surface of your tooth enamel. Activated charcoal is found to be particularly effective in removing stains caused by tea, coffee, wine and tobacco. Furthermore, activated charcoal can help promote better oral hygiene. 

How do you whiten your teeth with activated charcoal?

You can brush your teeth using activated charcoal to get rid of day to day stains that usually stem from eating, drinking and smoking. Technically, activated charcoal doesn't whiten your teeth, it simply helps remove stains from the surface your tooth enamel. If your natural teeth colour isn't white then activated charcoal cannot change its colour as it simply removes the surface stains. 

What is the best way to whiten your teeth at home? 

If you have discolouration on the surface of your tooth enamel caused by tea, wine, tobacco and coffee stains then you could use baking soda or activated charcoal teeth whitening powders to help lift the stains without going to dentists. However, if you have deep-seated stains, you should look into using teeth whitening strips and other kits that are suitable for home use. 

If you'd like to purchase our products, then read our article on where to buy activated charcoal.

Is activated charcoal teeth whitening powder natural?

There are several ways of manufacturing activated charcoal. Some manufacturers use chemicals (which are mostly unnatural) for activation and some use a process that involves heating coconut shells to 1000 deg C and then exposing the charcoal to superheated steam which is then cooled and milled to produce very fine activated charcoal powder. 

Can you use activated charcoal to brush your teeth?

Yes, you can but you have to ensure you are using the right type of activated charcoal - basically look out for abrasiveness. It is also good to brush with fluoride-containing toothpaste afterwards for the benefits of fluoride.

Activated charcoal powder will not whiten your teeth, it just removes stain deposits which are formed on the surface of your tooth enamel. You can use normal toothpaste after brushing your teeth with activated charcoal powder.

How long do you leave charcoal toothpaste on teeth?

Usually, it is best to brush for two minutes very gently followed by using your regular toothpaste to get rid of excess powder which is usually stuck along your gum lines. You should use a soft bristle brush and ensure you are not brushing too "enthusiastically".

Can you use activated charcoal on implants?

Traditional teeth whitening generally doesn’t work on prosthetics like your dental crowns and implants. It is really important to look after your dental implants once they’ve been finished, and your dentist will tell you how best to do that.

5 Tips Before and After Getting Dental Implants

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Get the rest of your mouth clean and healthy BEFORE having your implants
  3. Check out the qualifications of the dentist who is to carry out your implant treatment
  4. Keep your implants immaculately clean after they have been finished
  5. Make sure you have your implants checked regularly by your dentist

Implant tips written by: BILL SCHAEFFER
Implant Surgeon, Co-founder of The Implant Centre

Bill is exceptionally qualified for his role as one of the implant surgeons at The Implant Centre. Having trained in the UK, Bill is both a dentist and a medical doctor. He is also a qualified surgeon and a registered Specialist Oral Surgeon. As if this was not enough, he also has both a Fellowship and Membership from the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

BILL SCHAEFFER's Accreditations:
  • BDS MBBS FDS
  • RCS (Eng) MRCS (Eng)
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