Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Charcoal-containing dentifrices


Charcoal toothpastes and powders are fashionable oral hygiene products, intended for toothbrushing, extrinsic stain removal and, it is claimed, 'tooth whitening'. The popularity of charcoal toothpastes is believed to be increasing in many countries across the world, including the UK, US, Japan, India, Thailand, Lithuania, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Korea and Switzerland, where charcoal-based toothpastes have been reported to be produced. It is understood that many patients ask members of their dental team for advice on the use and benefits of charcoal toothpastes and powders, and that such advice is often empirical. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and understanding of charcoal toothpastes and powders, including consideration of the strength of the evidence to support claims made by the manufacturers of these products.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. 1.

    Brooks J K, Bashirelahi N, Reynolds M A. Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices: A literature review. J Am Dent Assoc 2017; 148: 661-670.

  2. 2.

    Boots. Curaprox Black is White Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste. Available at (accessed April 2019).

  3. 3.

    Greenwall L H, Wilson N. Charcoal toothpastes. what we know so far. 2017. Available at (accessed April 2019).

  4. 4.

    Maxim L D, Niebo R, McConnell E E. Bentonite toxicology and epidemiology a review. Inhal Toxicol 2016; 28: 591-617.

  5. 5.

    Brooks J K, Bashirelahi N, Reynolds M A. More on charcoal-based dentifrices. J Am Dent Assoc 2017; 148: 785.

  6. 6.

    Tembhurkar A R, Dongre S. Studies on fluoride removal using adsorption process. J Environ Sci Eng 2006; 48: 151-156.

  7. 7.

    Janardhana C, Rao G N, Ramamurthy S S, Kumar P S, Kumar V A, Miriyala V M. Study on defluoridation of drinking water using zirconium ion impregnated activated charcoals. Indian J Chem Techn 2007; 14: 350-354.

  8. 8.

    Yaacob H B, Park A W. Dental abrasion pattern in a selected group of Malaysians. J Nihon Univ Sch Dent 1990; 32: 175-180.

  9. 9.

    Juurlink D N. Activated charcoal for acute overdose: a reappraisal. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016; 81: 482-487.

  10. 10.

    Winkel E G. Halitosis Control. In Lindhe J, Lang N P, Karring T (eds) Clinical Periodontology and Implant Dentistry. 5th ed. pp 1325-1340. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

  11. 11.

    Sarrett D C. Tooth whitening today. J Am Dent Assoc 2002; 133: 1535-1538.

  12. 12.

    Sharif N, MacDonald E, Hughes J, Newcombe R G, Addy M. The chemical stain removal properties of 'whitening' toothpaste products: studies in vitro. Br Dent J 2000; 188: 620-624.

  13. 13.

    Haywood V B, Boyleston E. Does "Activated Charcoal" Effectively Whiten Teeth? Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. 2017.Available at (accessed April 2019).

  14. 14.

    Haywood V B. Tooth Whitening Is Not Always Tooth Bleaching. Inside Dentistry 2018; 14: 80.

  15. 15.

    Pertiwi U I, Eriwati Y K, Irawan B. Surface changes of enamel after brushing with charcoal toothpaste J Phys Conf Series 2017; 884: 012002.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nairn H. F. Wilson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Greenwall, L., Greenwall-Cohen, J. & Wilson, N. Charcoal-containing dentifrices. Br Dent J 226, 697–700 (2019).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links