Is black toothpaste the secret to whiter teeth?

Can black toothpaste turn your yellow stained teeth white? We had a closer look to see what the manufacturers, consumers, and experts say.

 Why black toothpaste?

Every year consumers spend over a billion dollars trying to whiten their teeth. Since professional whitening procedures can be expensive, many people turn to cheaper options to attain a brighter smile. Brushing teeth with black toothpaste has become a popular choice in recent years with social media being awash with recommendations and positive reviews.

What is black toothpaste?

Black toothpaste is also commonly known as charcoal toothpaste, or activated charcoal toothpaste. As you may have guessed, the prime ingredient in these toothpastes is activated charcoal. A fascination with the healing powers of activated charcoal has inspired manufacturers to include it in everything from face masks, skin cleansers, moisturizers, shampoo and toothpaste.

History

History tells us that man has known about the powerful properties of activated charcoal since prehistoric times. Fossilised remains show that Neolithic man used to eat charcoal, possibly because they knew that with this black substance in their belly, they could eat plants and berries that would otherwise have been poisonous.

The advanced ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations were also well aware of the therapeutic powers of activated charcoal and used it for treating various physical ailments, preserving wood, embalming the dead and manufacturing bronze. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that activated carbon was utilized by many cultures throughout history. Native American Indians are thought to have used charcoal to treat stomach disorders and Aborigines realized that this magical black substance could help heal wounds.

Science

Raw materials like coconut husks, bamboo, and wood are used to produce the charcoal used in black toothpaste. The charcoal only becomes active after it has been treated with a combination of high temperatures, gases, and chemicals to increase its internal pore structure. The size and number of pores is the key to the power of activated charcoal. Inside every particle of activated charcoal are the countless collection of pores that give the material its incredible surface area.

The scientific principle behind the effectiveness of activated charcoal is Van der Waals forces. This is where molecules are electrostatically attracted and adsorbed by the surface area of the charcoal. Even a single gram of active charcoal has a surface area of over 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft), so the potential for adsorbing matter is enormous. These characteristics make it a perfect detoxifier and purifier because of its ability to collect poisons, toxins, and impurities.

The properties of active charcoal make it perfect for treating certain medical conditions. The World Health Organisation has it listed as one of the essential medicines for treating drug overdoses and poisonings. Aside from treating acute poisonings, activated carbon is also commonly used to filter blood and treat gastric problems like upset stomachs, indigestion, and flatulence.

 Why should you go black?

There are many reasons why activated charcoal is a perfect primary ingredient for black toothpaste.

  • It readily binds with the kind of toxins and compounds that contribute to teeth staining, bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Charcoal is a natural and safe ingredient that won’t irritate the delicate skin inside the mouth.
  • Coconut-based charcoal has a Ph value of over 9 which helps to balance the mouths chemistry and aid the remineralization of your teeth.

Manufacturers of black toothpaste usually promote their products as being beneficial for the following –

Whitens teeth

Charcoal-based toothpaste can clean away and adsorb teeth stains to give a brighter smile.

Freshens breath

The adsorbent characteristics of black toothpaste can bind to and remove the sulfur-based compounds that cause bad breath.

Removes bacteria and toxins

Even a small amount of activated charcoal has a massive surface area. This gives it the potential to adsorb a lot of the bacteria, toxins, and compounds that cause yellow teeth, decay and bad breath.

What’s the best black toothpaste?

We picked out some of the best black toothpaste options that cater to different consumer tastes. Every option is from respected brands that market their products responsibly.

FineVine

An excellent choice for those who are looking for a chemical-free toothpaste that can still remove teeth stains and bad breath.

Ingredients:

Purify Water, Diatomaceous earth, Xylitol, Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Charcoal, Citric Acid, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree, Xantham Gum./span>

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Twin Lotus Herbaliste

This popular toothpaste has a complex combination of ingredients that work together to whiten teeth and remove the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Ingredients:

Sorbitol (natural origin from cassava), Silica, Water, Glycerine (natural origin from plant oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Guava, Clove, Flavou Transatak (herbal blend), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Charcoal Powder, Clove oil, Menthol, Cellulose Gum, Xantham Gum, Sodium Saccharin, Disodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide

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Hello

An excellent choice for those who are looking for a chemical-free toothpaste that can still remove teeth stains and bad breath.

Ingredients:

Sorbitol, Hydrated Silica, Vegetable Glycerin, Xylitol, Purified Water, Charcoal Powder, Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Titanium Dioxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Coconut Oil, Potassium Sorbate and Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf Extract. Certified Organic.

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CaliWhite

An excellent choice for those who are looking for a chemical-free toothpaste that can still remove teeth stains and bad breath.

Ingredients:

Purified Water (Distilled Water), Xylitol, Diatomite Diatomaceous Earth, Baking Soda, Activated Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Peppermint Oil, Natural Flavors.

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Active Wow

One of the most popular black powder toothpastes on the market.

Ingredients:

Organic Coconut Charcoal, Bentonite, Orange Seed Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Coconut Oil, Mint Flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Black toothpaste is becoming more and more popular, here are some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is black toothpaste made from?

Activated charcoal is the key ingredient that gives black toothpaste its therapeutic value and color.

Is black toothpaste safe?

For people who have good oral health, black toothpaste can generally be considered safe to use. People who are prone to tooth decay, sensitive teeth or gum recession should consult their dentist.

Can I make my own black toothpaste?

Although it is possible to make your own black toothpaste by simply wetting your toothbrush and dipping it in medical or food grade carbon, you should exercise care so as not to damage your teeth. While it may be effective, raw charcoal can be overly abrasive and scratch your teeth enamel. Homemade charcoal toothpaste should not be used daily. It is better to use sparingly once or twice a week.

Will black toothpaste damage my teeth?

There is no evidence to suggest that over-the-counter black toothpaste will damage your teeth any more than regular toothpaste. Most whitening toothpaste works by using abrasives to scrape away stains from the teeth surface and each toothpaste will have a Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) rating from 0 – 250.
Black toothpaste does not necessarily have a high RDA value. It is always advisable to check how abrasive your toothpaste is so you can avoid excess wear on your teeth.

Will black toothpaste whiten veneers, crowns or false teeth?

No, black toothpaste will only whiten natural teeth.

Do you have to use a different toothbrush?

You can use any type of toothbrush when brushing with black toothpaste. However, the charcoal may turn the bristles black so always make sure to rinse your brush thoroughly after use.