Best Charcoal Toothpastes

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
174 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best charcoal toothpastes

Who doesn’t want a healthy, white smile? There are countless pastes, strips, gels, devices, and other products designed to brighten your teeth, but if you’re looking for a natural option, charcoal toothpaste could be your best bet.

But there are so many charcoal toothpaste options on the market that finding the right one for your pearly whites can be difficult. You have to decide what type, ingredients, flavor, and other features work best for your oral health, so you wind up with the brightest smile possible.

If you’re not sure how to start your search for the best charcoal toothpaste, BestReviews can help. We take care of all the product research so you can focus on the key information you need to choose the ideal items for your home. And to make shopping even easier, we also provide specific recommendations.

If you’re ready to shop for charcoal toothpaste, take a look at our top picks in the product list above. For general charcoal toothpaste information, our shopping guide has plenty of helpful advice.

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The whitening results from charcoal toothpaste vary from person to person. Some individuals see obvious results, while others experience more subtle whitening.

What is charcoal toothpaste?

If it seems a little weird to brush your teeth with the same stuff you use to grill your burgers, have no fear. The main ingredient in charcoal toothpaste isn’t the charcoal briquettes you use to barbecue. It’s activated charcoal, which is designed specifically for use in health and personal care products.

Activated charcoal is made from carbon-rich ingredients like coconut husks, peat, and nutshells that are ground into a powder. The powder is usually mixed with other ingredients to create a paste that’s similar to traditional toothpaste. Activated charcoal is a very porous material, which is why it’s used in a variety of health or personal care products to remove toxins from the body.

Charcoal toothpaste benefits

There are several reasons why using charcoal toothpaste can be beneficial to your smile.

  • Whitens teeth: The porous activated charcoal in the toothpaste can absorb the plaque and bacteria that stain teeth.

  • Helps prevent cavities: Charcoal toothpaste helps balance the pH in your mouth so it isn’t too acidic. This helps your teeth remain strong enough to fight decay.

  • Fights bad breath: Charcoal toothpaste helps keep your breath fresh by getting rid of the bacteria that cause halitosis.

  • Reduces germs: Because activated charcoal can kill up to 90% of the bacteria in your mouth, the toothpaste is an effective way to keep germs to a minimum.

  • Costs less: Charcoal toothpaste is often less expensive than traditional whitening toothpastes, teeth whitening kits, and whitening treatments at your dentist’s office.
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For your safety
Before using a charcoal toothpaste, consult with your dentist to make sure that it’s the best option for your oral health.

Charcoal toothpaste features to consider


Charcoal toothpaste is available in a few forms, including paste, powder, and capsules. All three can provide effective results, so choosing the best formula for your teeth usually comes down to personal preference.

  • Paste: Charcoal toothpaste in paste form is exactly what you think it is – a traditional toothpaste that contains activated charcoal. You use the paste just as you would regular toothpaste, but you should only apply a pea-sized amount to your brush because it’s more abrasive than traditional toothpaste.

  • Powder: Charcoal tooth powder comes as a small tub of loose activated charcoal powder. To use the product, you wet your toothbrush, dip it into the powder, and apply it to your teeth. Charcoal tooth powder has a grittier texture than the paste because the activated charcoal isn’t ground as finely. It can also be somewhat messy because the loose powder is easy to spill.

  • Capsules: Charcoal toothpaste capsules are similar to the powder except that the powder comes in individual capsules that you break open each time you brush your teeth. When you empty the capsule, you dip your wet toothbrush in the charcoal powder just as you would with the tub. Like the powder, the activated charcoal in capsule form has a grittier texture than the paste, but it isn’t as messy because you’re working with a much smaller amount.


While charcoal is obviously the key ingredient in a charcoal toothpaste, it’s important to consider all of the ingredients that a product contains to make sure that it’s healthy for your teeth.

All-natural formulas are often a good option because they don’t contain any harsh chemicals that might damage your teeth. There may be other ingredients besides the activated charcoal from sources like bamboo or organic coconut shells, such as the following:

  • Baking soda to help remove stains

  • Coconut oil to help reduce and fight plaque, decay, and gum disease

  • Aloe vera to help reduce bacteria and fight decay

  • Peppermint oil to help fight germs, soothe gums, and freshen breath

Hydrogen peroxide: If you have dental work, such as fillings, crowns, or implants, look for a charcoal toothpaste that’s peroxide-free. Hydrogen peroxide can be too harsh on dental work and may even irritate your gums with long-term use.

Sulfates: If you’re concerned about chemicals in your personal care products, avoid charcoal toothpastes that contain sulfates (harsh detergent agents) or parabens (used as preservatives and linked to a variety of health issues).

Fluoride: For individuals who are concerned about fluoride, there are varieties of charcoal toothpaste without it. Just be aware that  a fluoride-free toothpaste won’t give you the same protection from tooth decay.


Activated charcoal has a fairly strong flavor on its own that many users don’t find appealing. That’s why most varieties of charcoal toothpaste have some type of flavoring to make the product more palatable. Choosing a flavor all comes down to what you like best, but you can find charcoal toothpaste in a wide range of options, including the following:

  • Peppermint

  • Spearmint

  • Wintergreen

  • Anise

  • Cinnamon

  • Clove

  • Peach

  • Lime

  • Coconut

Charcoal toothpaste prices

Prices for charcoal toothpaste vary depending on the type and quality of the ingredients. However, most options cost between $3 and $30.

  • Inexpensive

Formulas that feature a base of the usual toothpaste ingredients with some activated charcoal mixed in are the most budget-friendly options, ranging from $3 to $10.

  • Mid-range

You’ll pay more for all-natural formulas that contain nothing but activated charcoal or a blend of charcoal and other natural ingredients. These typically cost $10 to $20.

  • Expensive

The priciest charcoal toothpastes are all-natural formulas that contain organic ingredients. These usually run from $20 to $30.

"For sensitive teeth, a charcoal toothpaste is a better option than powder or capsules."


  • If you spill charcoal toothpaste powder on your bathroom sink, use a baby wipe to easily clean it away.

  • It’s not a good idea to use charcoal toothpaste every day. The abrasive texture can wear down your enamel if used too often.

  • If you want to help maintain the whitening effect you achieve with charcoal toothpaste, use it just once a week or once every two weeks.

  • Wash your sink out immediately after using charcoal toothpaste. If you allow the black residue to sit on the surface, it may stain.

  • If you experience any side effects from using a charcoal toothpaste, such as bleeding gums or staining, stop using the product immediately.

  • Keep a cup handy when you’re brushing with charcoal toothpaste. You’ll have an easier time cleaning up if you spit into the cup rather than into your sink.

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Charcoal toothpaste is particularly effective at removing surface stains left behind by coffee, tobacco, red wine, and other dark-colored foods or beverages.


Q. Is it safe to use charcoal toothpaste?

A. If you’re concerned about the dangers of ingesting activated charcoal, there isn’t much risk involved. However, some charcoal toothpastes, particularly those in powder form, can be very abrasive, which may damage your tooth enamel. It’s always a good idea to talk with your dentist before using the toothpaste. Be sure to use a light, gentle motion when you brush, too. And don’t use the toothpaste if you have any sores, cuts, or other abrasions in your mouth.

Q. How long should I brush with charcoal toothpaste?

A. Because charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive, you don’t necessarily want to brush it on your teeth for a full two minutes like a traditional toothpaste. Lightly brush it over your teeth for about 60 seconds, and then let the paste sit on your teeth for at least three minutes to allow the charcoal to bind with any surface stains and more effectively remove them. Once the three minutes are up, rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove the residue.

Q. Can I use charcoal toothpaste with traditional toothpaste?

A. You can use charcoal toothpaste in conjunction with traditional toothpaste. In fact, it’s a good idea to follow up an activated charcoal treatment by brushing your teeth with a traditional toothpaste. The toothpaste can help remove any charcoal residue that you weren’t able to rinse away, so you don’t have to worry about black stains on your tongue or along your gum line.

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