Whether it’s a pricey trip to the dentist or a promised miracle product picked up at the drugstore, more and more of us are looking for ways to whiten our teeth. In the process however, we’re often using unknown ingredients that can do our teeth and our bodies more harm than good. Countless products promising those pearly whites can often be misleading, misinforming or just downright confusing, and so searching for natural alternatives could be the right way to go.
Why use Charcoal?
One of the best known natural solutions to teeth whitening is charcoal. Also used to treat gastrointestinal problems, in recent years this ‘wonder’ ingredient has appeared in the form of tablets, teeth strips, and most commonly, toothpaste. A form of carbon, activated charcoal has been treated to make the surface of its particles porous, meaning it binds and lifts common surface stains on the teeth, such as coffee, wine and tea.
Charcoal toothpaste is easy to use (just apply and brush as you would your normal toothpaste), and further to being an effective teeth whitener, can also decrease cavity risks by changing the pH level of your mouth, helping to prevent the absorption of toxins.
However, like many potent ingredients, charcoal toothpaste should be used with caution. Unlike standard toothpaste, charcoal equivalents do not contain fluoride. Whilst some may see this as a positive, fluoride is needed for protection against tooth decay. Plus, charcoal as an ingredient is often very abrasive, and so using it on a regular basis, even when mixed into a toothpaste, may wear down enamel and could result in increased sensitivity. The wear down of enamel can also make the surface of the teeth rougher, meaning bacteria is more likely to stick to them.
In order to get the most out of this natural teeth whitener, it’s best to use it no more than 3-4 times per week as opposed to your regular everyday toothpaste. Used as a stain remover as opposed to a teeth whitener, this product is often very effective at removing or reducing those surface stains.
Here Are Our Top 5 Best Charcoal Toothpaste Brands
Cali White Vegan Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
This toothpaste combines a mixture of charcoal and baking soda, another natural ingredient often used in the pursuit of pearly whites. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also free of gluten, peroxide, and parabens, meaning that it’s gentle enough to use more frequently than other charcoal infused toothpaste.
My Magic Mud Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
Magic Mud Activated toothpaste used Bentonite clay, an absorbent powder, to soak up stains that appear on the teeth over time. It also contains coconut oil to help fight bacteria and detoxify, and claims to reduce sensitivity.
Hyperbiotics All Natural Toothpaste
As the name suggests, Hyperbiotics’s blend is packed full of natural ingredients including Xylitol and Coconut Oil. Whilst coconut oil is often deemed a hero product in itself, and is known to effectively clean the mouth, Xylitol prevents bacteria from sticking to the surface of the teeth, so the bacteria is no longer ingested. Hyperbiotics state that the mouth is often the ‘gatekeeper’ of your health, and so keeping it clean with natural ingredients is important in order to avoid all sorts of diseases.
Hello Oral Care Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste
Hello Oral prides itself on being fluoride free, and whilst we’ve established that this isn’t always a good thing, it also contains no sulfates or dyes. Not only that by Hello Oral are relatively eco-friendly, being vegan and against animal testing, as well as promoting the use of sustainable bamboo toothbrushes. It’s flavored with mint, meaning it tastes like a normal toothpaste, and polishes and whitens naturally for guaranteed quick results.
Living Earth Black Pearl Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening
This product is strictly speaking a powder, however, you won’t be disappointed by the results. It’s formulated with charcoal and Bentonite Clay, and it’s surprisingly easy to use. Simply wet your toothbrush and dip into the powder, before using as you would a regular toothpaste. The formula may take some time to get used to, but being a powder means that there is no glycerin. Glycerin as an ingredient is often used to formulate toothpaste’s gel-like texture but can prevent your enamel from soaking up much needed minerals. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly after using a tooth powder, as you may find it sticking around longer than you would like!
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All in all
Charcoal can be an excellent natural alternative to chemical-ridden whitening products. Whilst it’s perhaps a little too potent to use on a daily basis, applied once a week can make a big difference to those little surface stains that can really affect your self-confidence. However, charcoal is effective for just that – surface stains. Although it might brighten the teeth over time, it’s not a substitute for professional whitening, so don’t expect a Hollywood smile overnight. As always though, prevention is better than cure, so why not add this natural alternative into your routine for a brighter smile?