I’m often asked by friends how I whiten my teeth, and I’m happy to report now that I use a natural and safe method. I’ve used harsher products in the past, knowing that they provided results but feeling a little guilty putting all those chemicals in my mouth for extended periods of time. I’m really excited to have tried activated charcoal (finally!) and wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about my experience today.
Activated charcoal has definitely been on my radar in the wellness space for a while now, but I had no idea which kind to look for, what to avoid, or how it worked. It’s tough when some hot new wellness product comes onto the scene and suddenly there are 1,000 brands pumping out a similar product and you don’t know where to start. That’s precisely why I avoided the whole matter until I talked with the Australian-based brand, Carbon Coco and learned a little bit about the quality of their tooth whitening products.
What is activated charcoal and how does it work?
Activated charcoal is a black powder that can be made from a number of ingredients (this one is made from coconut shells). It is processed at high temperatures to make it more porous and therefore offer a variety of health benefits including teeth whitening.
By a process called adsorption, the charcoal binds with toxins, stains and plaque in the mouth, allowing you to flush them out. The porosity of activated charcoal gives it a negative electrical charge, which attracts the toxins and chemicals that are positively charged. All you coffee, tea and wine lovers – it jumps on the stains.
I was most concerned about the powder wearing away at the enamel on my teeth, but the Carbon Coco tooth polish is so finely milled that it is not abrasive to the teeth. (Sidenote: I’m a total oral hygiene nerd. I floss every single night, and have never had a cavity. So I definitely did my research on this enamel question beforehand. See my post about Ayurvedic Oral Practices for more nerdiness. )
What’s different about Carbon Coco?
Something that’s cool about Carbon Coco that’s not found in other brands is a hint of bentonite clay and lemon myrtle in their products. Bentonite clay is a natural ingredient that helps remineralize teeth and lemon myrtle has gentle and non-acidic antibacterial properties. It’s nice to get that extra boost of benefits from a couple other natural sources.
I tried the Ultimate Carbon Kit which is made up of a tooth polish and a toothpaste. The tooth polish is the loose, activated charcoal powder and you use that first. You wet your toothbrush, dip it into the powder, and brush in circles for 2-3 minutes. If you’ve seen any photos online of this kind of product in use, you’ll know that it makes your mouth completely black and looks crazy. It rinses right out after, but it’s definitely something to get used to in the mirror. The polish has no taste or smell and works to detoxify the mouth and remove stains. They suggest using it at nighttime so that toxins can continue to dislodge in your mouth overnight.
Then you follow it up with the activated charcoal toothpaste (which is peppermint flavored like normal toothpaste) and brush with that for another 2-3 minutes.
Carbon Coco suggests doing this process for one to two weeks for results. I did it for seven days straight and want to do another seven soon. I have always had pretty white teeth naturally so it’s hard for me to really see shades drastically change, but I do think that some stains were lifted as I’m an avid cappuccino drinker.
I will say that the process tends to make a little bit of a mess, even if you’re being super careful since it is a loose, black powder. The powder rinses right off of any surface, but I was unable to avoid a little black mess of a sink no matter how I tried. Small price to pay for a natural way to whiten teeth, but worth noting.
I am really happy that I’ve found a safe alternative to some of the harsh and chemcial-laden teeth whitening products out there. I have never felt that it’s a good thing to put those whitening strips in your mouth for 30+ minutes at a time for one to two weeks and there’s stuff out there that says they can damage enamel too.
I saw improvement and want to do another week in the near future to further my experiment with activated charcoal.
Have any of you tried activated charcoal? Did you see results??
P.S. I’m planning a giveaway of some fun items when I hit 5K subscribers, so please subscribe if you haven’t already in the sidebar or footer of this page!
ooh I’m so glad I read this. I’ve been wanting to try the charcoal stuff but have felt so overwhelmed by how many products there are available. I’m going to see if this is one is available in the UK. Thank you… x
So happy to hear that! I felt the same way, I started seeing activated charcoal everywhere and then couldn’t decide which to go with so I wrote off the whole idea, ha! I’m glad I tried out a great one though, and I’m loving using it! I hope you can get it in the UK! xo
Hey, I’m from the UK too. I bought mine from TK Maxx as I saw it in my local store and had been interested in trying one out for a while. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the stuff being stocked on Amazon. 🙂
Just a side note~ don’t try this if you have metal braces, every time I do the charcoal breaks a bracket. lol!
Omg that’s terrible!! I hadn’t thought of that. Good to know! xo
So I’m curious, do you have to follow it with their toothpaste? They’ve been all over my instagram feed and I’v been wanting a safer way to whiten my teeth than using the Crest Whitening strips.
Hey! You don’t have to follow the polish with the toothpaste. The toothpaste has activated charcoal in it as well, but in my opinion, it appears that the product that does the most work is the tooth polish (the loose powder activated charcoal). You could get that first, separately, to just see how you like it. I used to use Crest White Strips too and I thought they were too damaging long term and felt guilty every time I used them.
I follow with my enamel safe whitening tooth paste when I use them but I don’t use them often either so I never felt really bad. The tooth paste alone works decently well, but I really want to get them whiter without craziness ensuing. So I’ll definitely try the powder out! It’s weird, but I was kind of waiting on someone in the blogging community to write about it because we all seem far too honest about products.
Yeah I totally think the polish is the key! The toothpaste helps, but the real whitening factor is the powder. I’m so glad you found my post and I wish you teeth whitening luck!! xo
This is so interesting! I didn’t even know about this!
Thanks! I’m loving using it!!
I am always looking for new ways to whiten my teeth safely! I haven’t tried activated charcoal, so I may have to try this out!
Thanks for the info!! 🙂
I am too! I think this is the most natural method I’ve found, and I’m really happy with how it’s going! xo
This was so informative. I’ve been trying different products and I’ve gotten somewhere kind of but I’m definitely going to give this a try!
Thank you! Yeah I’m really liking this one and it’s totally guilt free as far as chemicals are concerned. xo
I love the sound of this teeth whitening kit, and the fact it makes your teeth white without any damage is amazing! I will certainly be checking it out X
Totally! I’m really loving how it works so far. And so happy to have found a chemical-free option. Thank you for your feedback and for stopping by!
Loved reading your blog, So helpful and innovative
Thank you so much, so happy to hear it!
Love your blog! Just a reminder everyone the only way to physically whiten the shade of your teeth is to use professional whitening provided by your dentist but some charcoal products are great for removing superficial staining! I’m such a tea/red wine lover… will give this a try if needed in between my professional whitening (I sleep in my trays a few nights a year which brightens them back up) ! ☺️☺️
Yes, totally agree! It makes sense with the science too that the activated charcoal just grabs surface level stains. I really like using it!
Really helpful post and you answered my questions on whether it lifted stains from coffee, tea and alcohol. I try and go to the dentist and hygienist about twice a year, but eventually the stains come back and it’s usually my front bottom tooth that the stains like to target! I’ve bought an activated charcoal though a few weeks ago so I hope it’s good!
Thank you so much! Yeah, I think it’s a great way to keep up with those surface level stains in between deeper cleans at the dentist. Let me know how you like it!