Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening at Home

What if your toothpaste is not enough?

The other day we talked about natural teeth whitening using coconut oil for oil pulling. There was a ton of great feedback from that. I didn’t know so many of us want to have white teeth or just remove that yellow tint. Today, we go a step further and look at another complementary practice – brushing with activated charcoal.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is carbon that has been specifically processes to have pockets or pores. Unlike regular charcoal, activated charcoal can be ingested. It can also undergo chemical reactions and adsorption. In short, please don’t use regular charcoal to brush your teeth. You can find activated charcoal in pharmacies. It is also often used as a filter in water dispensers.

There are many activated charcoal uses:

  • In medicine
  • In hair masks
  • For face masks and as an exfoliant
  • For teeth whitening

Activated Charcoal in Medicine – Detox

Activated charcoal is used to treat constipation and other stomach-related issues. However, the most common use of activated charcoal is in poisoning. This charcoal is able to ‘bind’ with poisons and thus prevent bodily harm. Part of teeth whitening involves getting rid of plaque. Active charcoal comes in handy then because it is able to bind with the plaque and dirt thus cleaning your teeth.

Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening – How to Use for Brushing

Using activated charcoal for teeth whitening DIY

The process is simple. Activated charcoal often comes in tablets.

  • Crush a tablet into powder and pour it onto your toothbrush
  • Gently brush your teeth for about a minute
  • Rinse your toothbrush while swishing the charcoal in your mouth for about five minutes
  • Spit out the charcoal and rinse your mouth with clean water

This process shouldn’t be done every day of the week. In fact, I would advise for a day a week or less. However, I’m not a medical professional so this isn’t the bible-truth. The reason I suggest a day or less is because of how abrasive the charcoal can be. This depends on:

  • Whether you crush your tablet to a fine powder
  • How vigorous you brush your teeth
  • How sensitive your teeth are

What about Activated Charcoal Toothpaste?

Is activated charcoal teeth whitening safe?

There’s an entire debate surrounding this. Some manufacturers have incorporated charcoal in their toothpaste to help whiten teeth. This can be dangerous because it means that your teeth are in constant contact with the charcoal. In addition to this, all toothpaste, especially whitening ones, are required to adhere to a certain predetermined level of abrasiveness. In that case, how sure are you about the charcoal toothpaste that you are using? Then again, just like using the activated charcoal in its raw form for teeth whitening, you can opt to use the toothpaste only once a week or less.

Personal Experience

Brush with regular toothpaste in the morning and use activated charcoal to brush once a week

Personally, I have used activated charcoal for teeth whitening DIY. I get the activated charcoal tablets from pharmacies at Commercial in Nairobi CBD. I use it sparingly (a day a week or even a day a month when I’m being lazy). For me, oil pulling with coconut oil and brushing with activated charcoal are complementary practices.

Again, I wouldn’t say that my teeth are dazzling white (far from it). However, I have seen a great improvement in my teeth because of incorporating this into my dental routine.


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