These days, it’s impossible to visit Instagram or Facebook without seeing some social media influencer singing the praises of teeth whitening charcoal. If you believe the hype, teeth whitening charcoal will rid your teeth of all stains and leave them shining their brightest. But is that really possible? Or is teeth whitening charcoal just another beauty fad that’s too good to be true? Let’s find out.

How Is Teeth Whitening Charcoal Made?

Teeth whitening charcoal should not be confused with the charcoal you’ll find in a fire. You can’t just grab a handful of soot from a barbeque and rub it on your teeth and get a mouth of pearly whites. Teeth whitening charcoal is made up of a variety of things, including peat, shells, and wood. When exposed to extreme heat, it becomes “activated”, which is why you may have also heard it referred to as “activated charcoal”.

But Does It Work?

There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of teeth whitening charcoal. In 2017, the American Dental Association conducted an exhaustive investigation into activated charcoal. An article published in the official ADA journal later that year found nothing to suggest it could combat staining. Those who want to examine the ADA’s findings for themselves can click here.

So why can’t all those influencers peddling teeth whitening charcoal be sued for false advertising? Well, a report from The Vera Clinic of Istanbul states that certain brands of activated charcoal can produce slightly whiter teeth for a short-term basis. So, in a way they work, but only for a very brief time. And when we say “very brief”, we mean it. Any whitening you experience while using activated charcoal is unlikely to last more than a couple of hours. You may not even have enough time to snap a selfie documenting the results.

The Danger Of Teeth Whitening Charcoal

Activated charcoal is an abrasive substance. It works by wearing away the exterior layer of the teeth. While this will remove stains, it will also erode your enamel. In the long-run, this will actually leave your teeth more susceptible to staining and yellowing.

So What Am I Supposed To Do?

Okay, so all those tubs of activated charcoal you bought were a waste of money. But it is indeed possible to whiten your teeth while protecting your enamel. For whitening that is safe and effective, we suggest visiting a professional clinic. There, a specialist will work with you to reduce the stains on your teeth. In some cases, it may even be possible to reverse staining entirely.

Dental clinics often offer a number of teeth whitening procedures. Before deciding on which treatment is best for you, you should undergo a consultation to establish the severity of your staining. The aforementioned Vera Clinic offers virtual consultations, which can be booked via its website, These consultations allow you to have your teeth examined from the comfort of your own home. Your assigned dentist will help you craft a plan of action and will also give you tips to help prevent further staining.


Published by Lavismichel Inkel