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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best activated charcoal toothbrushes

    Last Updated October 2018

    Activated charcoal has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently begun to find its way into dental care products. First, manufacturers started adding it to toothpaste formulas, and now there are several activated charcoal toothbrushes on the market.

    These toothbrushes claim the same benefits as activated charcoal toothpastes: whiter teeth, less plaque, and fresher breath. But the jury is still out on how well these toothbrushes actually live up to the hype.

    The toothbrushes may or may not be superior to traditional toothbrushes, but they can definitely be inferior if you don’t know how to choose the right one for you. Selecting an activated charcoal toothbrush is essentially the same as selecting a regular toothbrush, though there are fewer options.

    To help you, we at BestReviews have prepared this shopping guide full of information about how to choose the best activated charcoal toothbrush for your needs.

    Activated charcoal toothbrushes claim to eliminate odor-causing bacteria as opposed to just masking it.

    Why choose an activated charcoal toothbrush?

    Activated charcoal toothbrushes have nylon bristles that have been infused with activated charcoal. These toothbrushes are easy to spot because the bristles are black.

    Activated charcoal is said to have natural carbon-absorbing properties, and it’s believed that brushing your teeth with it can help to remove bacteria that might cause plaque or bad breath. It’s also said to help naturally whiten teeth by removing the tannins that cause the stains in the first place. This makes it a natural and more affordable alternative to costly whitening treatments.

    Because these toothbrushes have only recently gained popularity, there hasn’t been enough research to assess whether they’re providing the benefits claimed. Many customers say that the toothbrushes live up to the promises, but we might be waiting a few years for science to catch up to the marketing and give us a definitive verdict one way or the other.

    You can always try an activated charcoal toothbrush and see for yourself if you notice any significant improvement. And even if you don’t, these toothbrushes should still provide a clean that’s at least equal to your traditional manual toothbrush.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Activated charcoal is a natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent.

    Activated charcoal toothbrush features to consider

    When choosing an activated charcoal toothbrush, you have many of the same considerations as with a traditional toothbrush. Here are some of the most important things to look for when shopping.

    Brush head

    You might think that a larger brush head would be better because it will enable you to cover ground more quickly, but in reality the opposite is true. Smaller brush heads are generally better because they’re easier to maneuver into hard to reach areas like the back of your mouth.

    Your ideal brush should only cover one or two teeth at a time. Most brushes come with a brush head that’s about an inch long, which should suffice for most people. If you’re looking for an activated charcoal toothbrush for children, one that is even smaller will better fit into smaller mouths.

    Bristles

    It’s important to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Bristles that are too hard can damage your teeth and erode your gums, which could eventually expose the roots of your teeth and cause you a lot of pain. Bristle hardness is especially important when looking at activated charcoal toothbrushes because some dentists have raised concerns about the abrasive quality of activated charcoal and the potential for damaging tooth enamel. This is more of an issue with charcoal toothpastes than toothbrushes, however.

    Toothbrush bristles usually come in soft, medium, and hard. Your activated charcoal toothbrush should indicate the bristle hardness on the packaging. If not, you can get a sense of how tough the bristles are by reading through customer reviews.

    Handle

    Most activated charcoal toothbrushes have plastic handles like traditional toothbrushes, but some have bamboo handles.

    Plastic: Plastic handles are usually comfortable to hold – they’re often ergonomically designed to fit the shape of your palm – and come in several different colors, which is helpful if multiple people in your household are going to be using these toothbrushes. However, plastic handles are not the most eco-friendly.

    Bamboo: Biodegradable bamboo handles are better for the environment than plastic. But most of them look the same – flat pieces of wood – so you’ll have to find another way to remember which one is yours if there are several of these toothbrushes in your household. Another thing you have to be careful of is the smoothness of the handle. Some users have reported getting splinters from some bamboo toothbrush handles that haven’t been sanded thoroughly. Check the quality of the handle by reading online customer reviews.

    Size: In addition to the material, check the size of the toothbrush handle. It should be large and comfortable enough for you to hold in your hand and easy to maneuver in order to reach all sections of your mouth. If you’re choosing an activated charcoal toothbrush for a child, you might need to choose one that has a shorter handle.

    EXPERT TIP

    You’ll remove the most plaque from your teeth if you brush with a circular motion.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    It’s a good idea to brush your tongue regularly, particularly if you’re trying to reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    It’s best to wait at least half an hour after a meal before brushing your teeth.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Activated charcoal toothbrush prices

    Activated charcoal toothbrushes commonly come in packs of three to five. In fact, you might have difficulty buying just a single toothbrush. Activated charcoal toothbrushes tend to be much more expensive than traditional plastic manual toothbrushes. While you can get a pack of five or more regular toothbrushes for under $5, you’ll spend at least twice that for the same number of activated charcoal toothbrushes.

    Expect to pay between $10 and $20 for a pack of three to five activated charcoal toothbrushes. Packs of toothbrushes with plastic handles usually sell for $8 to $10, while those with bamboo handles go for over $12.

    Tips

    • Use proper brushing technique. Using an activated charcoal toothbrush doesn’t mean you can forgo proper brushing practices. Place your brush at a 45° angle and make sure you cover all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly.

    • Floss daily. An activated charcoal toothbrush also isn’t an adequate substitute for flossing. Make sure to floss at least once per day.

    • Brush often enough. Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice per day.

    • Rinse your toothbrush. Thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush after every use removes any leftover toothpaste or bits of food that may have lodged in the bristles.

    • Buy a good-quality toothbrush. A good activated charcoal toothbrush should hold up for at least three months. If you read the customer reviews and find a number of reports of crushed bristles or bristles falling out, that’s probably an indication that the toothbrush is not of good quality.
    If you have sensitive teeth or gums, it’s especially important to choose a brush with soft bristles. Soft bristles are better able to bend and get below your gum line for a superior clean.

    FAQ

    Q. How often should I replace my activated charcoal toothbrush?

    A. Activated charcoal toothbrushes rarely have indicator bristles like traditional toothbrushes to tell you when it’s time to replace them. As a general rule, you should replace your activated charcoal toothbrush every three months or whenever it begins to look worn. Worn bristles do a poorer job of cleaning your teeth and may leave more plaque and bacteria behind.

    Q. Should I use charcoal toothpaste with my activated charcoal toothbrush?

    A. That’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re unsure if this is a good idea, you should consult with your dentist.

    Q. Do they make activated charcoal toothbrush heads for electric toothbrushes?

    A. Yes, there are some on the market. However, it’s important to make sure that the head fits your electric toothbrush before you buy any. This information should be listed on the product’s packaging or on the manufacturer’s website.

    Q. Are activated charcoal toothbrushes as effective as activated charcoal toothpaste?

    A. Activated charcoal toothpaste has been around longer than the toothbrushes, and there is some evidence to suggest that it can help whiten teeth. However, some people are concerned about its abrasiveness. Though there have been fewer studies done on activated charcoal toothbrushes, some dentists have raised doubts about the effectiveness of these toothbrushes. On the other hand, there are users who swear that the toothbrushes work. If you’re unsure whether one of these toothbrushes is right for you, you might want to give them a shot or get your dentist’s opinion.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

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