Charcoal Whitening Trend May Be Unsafe, Dentists Warn

Thought of using charcoal to whiten your teeth? The idea is trending. YouTube user Mama Natural posted a video on using a charcoal product to whiten her teeth, and more than a million viewers tuned in to watch: Activated Charcoal—Weird Way to Whiten Teeth.

Using Nature’s Way activated charcoal that costs about $5 from health food stores, Mama Natural states that the charcoal absorbs bacteria, toxins, and staining on the teeth, even though using the black powder may seem counterintuitive at first. Recently, however, FoxNews published an article warning consumers against using charcoal as a whitening agent.

“My fear with the charcoal is people will do it periodically just to do it,” Michigan-based dentist Dr. Susan Maples tells FoxNews, “and over time, we’ll see too much erosion.”

According to the article, dentists like Dr. Maples are worried that charcoal can eventually lead to enamel and tooth erosion as the material works its way into the inner layer of teeth, called dentin. Dentin, unlike skin or hair, does not grow back or heal itself. Because of charcoal’s abrasiveness, it could leave teeth stained, blotchy, and susceptible to deterioration and erosion down the line.

So while some users may find charcoal to be effective at whitening, its long-term effect is unknown.

We suggest asking your dentist and calculating the risk before jumping in to join the latest trend. In the meanwhile, if you’re looking to whiten your teeth for an upcoming holiday celebration or to greet the New Year, over-the-counter whitening strips and whitening toothpastes are gentle and do not alter the intrinsic color of the tooth.

If you’ve used charcoal as a whitening agent, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.

Can you whiten children’s teeth? Read our blog on the topic to find out.


  1. Wonderful article, very informative for readers this will be useful to awareness of dental health.

  2. Very good article, thanks so much for sharing this.

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