Should you buy charcoal toothpaste?

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

You've probably seen charcoal toothpaste in the healthcare isle of your local store or even seen an ad for it on social media.

Charcoal has recently become a trendy ingredient in beauty products such as face masks and supplements due to its detoxification properties. Like any new product, however, proceed with caution as the benefits may not outweigh the risks. 


Risks of charcoal toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste is more abrasive than regular toothpaste, which is why manufacturers claim that it removes stains. This is analogous to a scrub pad used to clean your pots and pans. Used regularly, charcoal toothpaste can damage enamel and the surrounding gum tissue.

Activated charcoal can be over-absorbed, which can interfere with the absorption of vital medications. 


Long term use of charcoal has been shown to cause intestinal blockages and constipation in addition to black stools and a discolored tongue.

Additionally, many charcoal toothpaste users report that they don’t have that “clean mouth” feeling after brushing. 


Charcoal toothpaste lacks anti-cavity properties because it doesn’t contain fluoride, which fights dental decay. 


There are few studies on the benefits of charcoal as a dietary supplement, so both short and long-term effects are unknown. Additionally, charcoal’s whitening effect is largely speculative. There have been no scientifically accepted studies that confirm charcoal’s whitening claims.


The American Dental Association suggests avoiding staining foods such as wine, coffee, tea and tobacco products to maintain a whiter, brighter smile. They also recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two full minutes with whitening toothpaste that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance and flossing daily. Regularly scheduled visits to your dentist to perform cleanings and to discuss in-office teeth whitening treatments  will also support your healthy smile.


If you have questions about the latest products on the market, don’t hesitate to ask. And remember, one of the easiest ways to a healthy, white smile is to schedule your regular check up and cleanings.