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Charcoal toothpaste is trending in dental care. If you want to try this trend for yourself, it’s important to choose a charcoal toothpaste that contains beneficial ingredients for dental health.

Activated charcoal in toothpaste may help remove surface stains on your teeth. Charcoal is mildly abrasive and is also able to absorb surface stains to some degree.

There’s no evidence, though, that it has any effect on stains below a tooth’s enamel, or that it has a natural whitening effect. While activated charcoal does have some proven benefits, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to include teeth whitening as one of them.

To find the best charcoal toothpastes, we considered product safety and effectiveness.

We only chose toothpastes that come from trusted brands, and analyzed consumer reviews to determine overall user satisfaction about performance and taste.

We opted to include only those containing fluoride and other beneficial ingredients, and didn’t include toothpastes linked to tooth damage or discomfort in multiple reviews.

Some of the toothpastes on this list are sold as two- or three-packs. Others are sold as singles. We’ve indicated price as follows:

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy

Price: $ (three-pack)

This mint flavored, black and white striped toothpaste contains fluoride to strengthen weak enamel and protect against cavities.

It gets whitening power from hydrated silica, a mild abrasive that removes surface stains from teeth.

Disodium pyrophosphate prevents staining and tartar buildup.

It rinses cleanly, so you won’t be left with a dirty sink full of black residue after brushing.

Colgate Revitalizing White Whitening Toothpaste with Activated Charcoal

Price: $ (two-pack)

This mint flavored toothpaste contains fluoride for protecting teeth from cavities.

The activated charcoal gives this toothpaste a pale gray color that users say washes cleanly.

Activated charcoal comes from multiple sources, including bone. Colgate’s formula is vegan. It’s also sugar-free and gluten-free.

Curaprox Black is White Toothpaste

Price: $$$ (one-pack)

This lemon-flavored toothpaste is made in Switzerland. On the packaging, activated charcoal is referred to as activated carbon, another name for the same ingredient.

This toothpaste contains sodium monofluorophosphate, a type of fluoride, and it may be gentler on teeth than other brands.

A recent study that compared Black is White with varying charcoal toothpastes found it was the only one that didn’t increase surface enamel roughness.

hello Activated Charcoal Epic Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste

Price: $ (one-pack)

This black-colored, vegan toothpaste uses spearmint, peppermint, and fresh mint for flavoring.

Coconut oil is also an ingredient. Research from 2017 shows that coconut oil can reduce plaque buildup on teeth. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is an antimicrobial and may help prevent cavities.

There are hello activated charcoal toothpastes with and without fluoride, which have nearly identical or confusing packaging on some consumer sites. For this list, we chose the version that contains sodium monofluorophosphate, a type of fluoride.

When purchasing, double-check the packaging and ingredients list, so you get the type you prefer.

Tom’s of Maine Activated Charcoal Anticavity Toothpaste

Price: $$ (three-pack)

According to the manufacturer, this toothpaste is nonabrasive and safe for daily use.

It contains sodium fluoride for cavity protection, silica for stain removal, and peppermint oil for flavor. Some users mention that the flavor is very subtle. Others say they don’t like the taste.

Like all Tom’s of Maine products, this toothpaste is cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

Native Charcoal Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste

Price: $ (one-pack)

This toothpaste contains sodium fluoride for cavity protection and silica for stain removal.

Users say it tastes like a combination of peppermint, cinnamon, and clove.

It uses carrageenan, which is a seaweed extract, as a thickener, and stevia as a flavoring.

It’s preservative- and cruelty-free.

It’s important to use charcoal toothpaste correctly so as not to weaken teeth or become susceptible to tooth decay. Ways to do this include alternating charcoal toothpaste with traditional fluoride toothpaste or using charcoal toothpaste only for a brief period.

Many activated charcoal toothpastes contain very little charcoal and don’t use it in their formulas as an active ingredient. This may provide you with the novelty factor of using an unusually colored toothpaste while still offering other beneficial ingredients.

Activated charcoal tooth whitening powders are an alternative option. Some are made solely of charcoal. Others contain ingredients such as bentonite clay or sodium bicarbonate. Tooth whitening powders usually have no flavor. Some users find them messy to use.

There are also activated charcoal toothpaste tablets you can try. These turn into a paste while you chew. Some users find them less messy than powders. Charcoal pills typically don’t contain fluoride. They may contain coconut oil, silica, or other cleansing and foaming agents.

You may want to use a regular toothpaste but add a charcoal mouthwash to your routine. We like hello Activated Charcoal Extra Freshening Mouthwash. It’s $5.99, alcohol-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and contains no artificial sweeteners.

What is relative dentin abrasivity (RDA), and why is it important for charcoal toothpastes?

RDA is an indicator of toothpaste’s abrasiveness value. Since many activated charcoal toothpastes can potentially be too abrasive for daily use, this measurement is an important one to try to find.

The American Dental Association recommends only using toothpaste with an RDA of 250 or less.

Can children use activated charcoal toothpaste?

Some manufacturers say their toothpaste is safe for children ages 2 and up, while others say 6 and up. Before using any charcoal toothpaste, talk with your child’s dentist. To avoid cavities, you may also wish to steer clear of charcoal toothpastes without fluoride.

Activated charcoal has a myriad of uses, including freshening breath.

Many toothpaste brands are capitalizing on the charcoal trend. These toothpastes may contain very little charcoal and instead rely on traditional ingredients to whiten teeth and protect against cavities.