Charcoal Toothpaste: Is Black The New White?

Activated charcoal is the new buzz-word health ingredient of the moment. It’s literally a black toothpaste that claims to clean and whiten teeth and eliminate bad breath better. And its starting to show up in healthy products all over.

So does it work?

Because it’s so porous, activated charcoal is sometimes used in emergency rooms to treat certain kinds of poisoning and overdose—by “soaking up” the poison, charcoal prevents it from being absorbed into the stomach. By this logic, some people believe activated charcoal can also be used to soak up toxins in the body (or in this case, stains on the teeth).

I honestly remember being given liquid charcoal to drink when I was battling food poisoning. It was said to help cover and get rid of the toxins making me sick–which it did.

Unlike the little bricks you use for your backyard barbecue, activated charcoal’s enormous surface area is dotted with the numerous nooks and crannies that draw in and trap toxic substances in your gut like a sponge, preventing them from being absorbed by the body by approximately 47 percent. The bad stuff is then carried out with your next bowel movement.

There have not been any long-term formal scientific studies on the effects of charcoal on the teeth, but short-term public use of the products has been favorable with people claiming to have brighter teeth and a clean feeling throughout their teeth and gums. Bloggers and vloggers claim that brushing with activated charcoal is an all-natural way to remove surface stains caused by coffee, tea, or red wine without bleach or abrasives. With many seeing results in as little as after one use.

Some use capsules and other use the activated charcoal powder, like this one shown here by Kissed By A Bee Organics.

Some claim to use it like this: First, break open capsules of activated charcoal, mix the powder with water, then…