How to Use Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening, Results and Side Effects

How to Use Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening, Results and Side Effects

Strong, shiny, white teeth can not only be classy, but may also boost your self-esteem and the way your present yourself in public. What comes to your mind when you hear about a healthy smile?

Over the time, many people have associated pink gums and white teeth with good dental health. As one continues to grow up, the teeth often become yellowish or brownish due to different reasons, not necessarily poor dental hygiene.

In this article, you will find out how to use activated charcoal for teeth whitening, what are the expected results and what are the side effects of using activated charcoal.

It is worth mentioning, that teeth whitening does not have to be that expensive or complicated.

Activated charcoal for teeth whitening     

 Activated charcoal is a simple remedy, that many people use at home to get their teeth white and shiny. Activated charcoal by definition is charcoal that has been heated to increase its adsorptive power.

For teeth whitening, you can choose to prepare activated charcoal at home or use chemically manufactured one from the stores near you. There are two basic methods of preparing activated charcoal: steam activation and chemical activation.

actiavted charcoal for teeth whitening

activated charcoal for teeth whitening

Steam activation

In steam activation of charcoal, the process is used primarily for coconut and coal. In this process, the coconut shell or coal is heated to create char. The char is then activated in a furnace at high temperature with steam in absences of oxygen.

Chemical explanation

The volatile compounds are removed and at the same time layer after layer of carbon atoms are peeled off. This enlarges the existing internal pores that leave behind a carbon skeleton.

In the process of charcoal steam activation, three pounds of raw charcoal will produce one pound of activated charcoal.

Due to very high temperatures required in this process, this cannot be achieved in a conventional oven. The method is thus limited to industrial technology. The process can also not be achieved at home due to the high cost of production involved.

As a result of the production challenges, how then we can prepare activated charcoal at home?

To prepare activated charcoal, we would recommend chemical activation. Just like the steam activation, the final product (activated charcoal) is the same. The production is much less expensive and easier compared to steam activation.

In chemical activation, the wood making the char will need to be first pyrolyzed. Then, the produced char is saturated with phosphoric acid followed by controlled reheating to enhance the chemical erosion of the carbon atoms.

Most people preparing activated charcoal will prefer chemical activation as it requires less heat and saves time.

Whichever the process you use to prepare activated charcoal, the end product is a highly absorbent substance. The charcoal can then be used to remove toxins that accumulate on your teeth.

This product is believed to be extremely effective at binding to toxins from household’s chemical, ingested medicine and other chemicals from the body.

Apart from whitening your teeth, activated charcoal can be a great treatment for any kind of poisoning. In such cases, it should not be used or taken within several ours of medication. It should also not be taken with vitamins that need to be absorbed.

Does activated charcoal whiten teeth?

Some people might be skeptic about using activated charcoal.  Does activated charcoal whiten teeth for sure? Most people, especially in Asian countries, have continued to use charcoal as a natural remedy to whiten their teeth. So yes, activated charcoal can be a great easy way to keep that smile healthy, shiny and white.

Medically, activated charcoal has continued to be used in hospitals for the treatment of food poisoning. All this is due to the fact that, it is a highly absorbent substance.

In cases of medical emergencies like food poisoning, activated carbon should not be used for hours after medication. This product can also cause severe cases of dehydration, as such, it is advised that when ingesting it, you should try to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

The rationale of using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth is that it is not just an ordinary charcoal. It is charcoal that has been activated and has increased absorptive properties.

In addition to the naturally absorbing chemicals and toxins from your body, especially around mouth, teeth and gums, it is an alternative to various health and beauty products.

before and after using activated charcoal for teeth whitening

Before and after using activated charcoal for teeth whitening

Also, many alternative dental health products use activated charcoal instead of fluoride.

This is done not only due to the effectiveness of this product but also due to the fact that long-term fluoride ingestion has a harmful effect on the body.

How to use activated charcoal to whiten teeth

As said, activated charcoal does whiten teeth. How then can you whiten your teeth with this product?

The great absorbent quality that makes this product a great remedy for treating food poisoning also makes it a great teeth whitening product.

When used on teeth, the product works by pulling out stain, bacteria and toxins from inside the mouth.

All you need to whiten your teeth at home with activated charcoal is:

  • A toothbrush with soft bristles (to prevent damaging your gums or mouth inner lining)
  • A capsule or one tablespoon of activated charcoal powder
  • A cup or just a small plastic container
  • Clean water

Activated charcoal can be accessed from natural health stores. Most of these stores carry the charcoal in loose powder or capsule form. The product is also available from online stores:

The best and safest activated charcoal to use is one from wood or coconut sources and not that from petroleum.

To use activated carbon to whiten your teeth, you need to do the following:

You must know that when using activated charcoal to white teeth, there are several ways you can achieve this.

The best and most used option is to mix equal parts of water and charcoal powder and gently mix it to achieve a fine paste to apply on your teeth.

  1. Add the activated carbon powder in a cup
  2. Add an equal amount of water and gently stir to achieve a fine paste. You can choose to apply the fine paste directly on your teeth with your fingers or a clean cotton swab or using a toothbrush. When using a toothbrush, you need to first wet its bristles before you can use it to apply the paste on your teeth.
  3. Gently brush for about five minutes, do not spit the paste on your skin
  4. After doing that, rinse your mouth with water
  5. Clean any excess paste of activated charcoal with a wipe

For optimal results, you will need to do this twice or thrice a day for a week. You can then stop using the charcoal and continue using you toothpaste.

Report to your dentist in case of any damages or if you feel your teeth become sensitive.

Apart from whitening your teeth, activated charcoal can be an effective solution for:

  1. General detoxification where low quality, processed food and environmental pollution can be eliminated from the body.
  2. Relieving digestive issues such as gas and bloating stomach
  3. Help improve heart health, a study showed that people who used activated charcoal had a 25% reduction in total cholesterol.
  4. The product is believed to contain anti-aging properties
  5. When used twice a day, activated charcoal can help to get rid of bad breath and skin ailments
  6. The product can also be used as an antidote for drug, chemical and food poisoning.

Is it safe to use activated charcoal for teeth whitening?

When using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, it can be safe to ingest it. However, long-term use of the product can damage the enamel of your teeth as it continues to scrub against them. This is because activated charcoal is very abrasive.

At home, when using this product, you need to be very careful to only lightly grave your teeth when applyingit.

You should under no circumstance, apply activated charcoal on your mouth wounds, cuts, opening or abrasions.

You will also need to be careful not to scratch, chip or cause any damage to your gum.

Before you attempt to whiten your teeth using this product, it is recommended you consult your dentist first.

Other uses of Activated charcoal:

  • Reduce effects of food poisoning. A mixture of activated charcoal and a solution of apple cider vinegar can be a great first aid remedy in cases of food poising. The combination might taste awful but within a short time of use, the result is really commendable.
  • Cure hangover. In this case, digesting activated charcoal or carbon supplements soaks up metabolites and toxins from the blood.
  • Naturally, whitens teeth
  • Polishes teeth making them shinier
  • Strengthens the enamel
  • Natural and easy way to detoxify your mouth
  • Reducing high cholesterol

Risk and dangers of using activated charcoal for whitening teeth

Though the benefits of using activated charcoal might seem to outweigh the risks and dangers involved, medical professionals are waring us.

Dentists say, that while the cosmetic results of using activated charcoal might work well for some people, the continued use or long-term use of this product might have an internal effect this might be harmful to some people teeth.

Currently, the American Dental Association has not approved any charcoal teeth whitening products.

A Michigan-based dentist, Dr. Susan Maples, told fox news that there isn’t enough evidence available to show, that activated charcoal might be either beneficial or dangerous.

The dentists warn against long-term use of this product saying, “Teeth are the only part of the ectoderm that does not replenish or heal itself when it is gone, it’s gone”

Some of the side effects associated with activated charcoal teeth whitening include but are not limited to:

  1. Constipation
  2. Block mineral consumption
  3. Dehydration in children
  4. Tooth erosion
  5. Enamel deterioration
  6. Tooth sensitivity
  7. Reduce the effects of the medication

To overcome some of the side effects and risks associated with the use of activated charcoal, Dr. Maples recommends patients and anybody else interested in whitening their teeth to opt instead for formally tested dental procedures or at home whitening products recommended by a dentist or a professional health care provider.

Which activated charcoal products do we recommend for teeth whitening?

Best activated charcoal for teeth whitening

When using activated charcoal, the best to use for teeth whitening is one from woods or coconut and not that from a petroleum product. The do not’s of using charcoal to whiten teeth can be summarized as follows:

  • Do not use any form of charcoal apart from activated one
  • Do not use leftover charcoal from a BBQ grill
  • You can also not use charcoal pencil to whiten your teeth

A lot of people say that it can be a great remedy for surface stains, especially those from drinks like coffee and tea.

As said, best-activated charcoal has absorbent properties that allow it to pull these stains from your teeth making them appear white and shiny.

Activated charcoal may not be able to effectively work on teeth that have yellowed or darkened from antibiotics or other internal problems.

A valid concern for most dental professionals about using charcoal to whiten the teeth is that, is that activated charcoal is too abrasive. As such, if you have to use this product to whiten your teeth, some will recommend you to use it without brushing or scrubbing.

Due to this reason (abrasive nature of activated carbon), the best way to use the remedy would be to simply dab a small amount of the product onto the surface of your teeth with a finger or cotton swab. Then, let it stay on for some minutes before washing it off with clean water.

When the whitening process is done this way, it allows the activated charcoal to only come in contact with the surface of the teeth long enough to get rid of the surface stains without having to brush or scrub that could cause the process to become too abrasive.

Most people have used charcoal as a natural alternative to the expensive commercial whitening products. As seen charcoal can have different effects due to continuous r long-term internal use. Before using it, you need to first consult your dentist.

You also need to reach out for immediate medical attention is you notice any kind of abnormality with your oral or dental health. These include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • bowel obstruction
  • black colored stool
  • chalk like taste in mouth


  1. Does activated charcoal whiten teeth?
  2. Dentist warns against charcoal teeth whitening trends:
  3. Whitening your teeth with activated charcoal:
  4. Activated charcoal tooth polish:
  5. How to use activated charcoal for teeth whitening:
  6. How to whiten your teeth with activated charcoal:
  7. Should you try to do it yourself whitening paste?

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