Editor’s Note: If you’re thinking of buying a charcoal toothpaste or powder, we recommend first checking out our best charcoal toothpaste article. It contains a huge guide on using and choosing charcoal toothpaste.
With literally hundreds of different toothpastes on the market, it can be difficult to decide which to go for.
Many of us like the idea of lovely white teeth, but sadly our daily lifestyles can often hamper achieving this; unless we go down the route of expensive cosmetic whitening. Even then, you still need to take good care of your teeth.
Janina is a brand that focuses on producing nothing other than tooth whitening products. Their latest is Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal (view on Amazon).
- Contains the whitening patented Bromine Complex, a combination of natural enzymes to whiten teeth without the use of harsh abrasives
- Its formula helps to purify the breath and release extra freshness whilst whitening teeth
- Used twice daily Janina Ultra White also helps prevent decay, controls plaque and provides gum protection
- Excellent for the removal of stubborn staining from coffee, tea, nicotine, red wine and lipstick for visibly whiter teeth
What it does (according to Janina):
- Effectively whitens teeth aided by a unique enzymatic patented complex
- Helps remove stains, purify breath
- Helps reduce sensitivity
- Helps prevent decay
- Controls plaque
- Controls tartar
- Contains optimum fluoride levels
Ideal for (according to Janina):
- Those who desire to whiten teeth without the use of harsh abrasives
- Those who desire healthier gums and teeth
- Those with surface staining i.e. tea, coffee, nicotine, red wine
- Adults with erosion and uncontrolled caries
All sounds great.
I put it to the test.
Does it actually work?
I certainly had fresh breath after using this toothpaste, my mouth felt clean and it gave me the confidence to smile.
I did not notice any significant whitening over the time I used it (although I thought they looked whiter post clean), but then again my teeth are essentially stain free already.
I have no doubts that it did indeed control plaque and tartar as well as control decay, but this was not carried out under laboratory conditions to be able to monitor this.
How much does it cost?
A 75ml tube costs £8-14 depending on where you purchase it. The RRP is £11.50.
Where can I buy it?
The primary outlet for Janina is Boots pharmacy, be that the high street stores or their online shop, it is also available from Amazon and other specialist online retailers like fragrancedirect.co.uk.
- Works to fight bad breath
- Looks to control plaque and tartar
- Feels like it cleans well
- Ease of use
- Flip lid
- Unable to confirm if any better than a regular toothpaste
Would I recommend it?
I can’t give this paste an overwhelming recommendation, but I do think it could be worth trying.
There was no significantly noticeable colour change in my teeth over the 2 week test period.
My teeth felt clean and fresh post use.
However, there are a lot of products within this space and nothing makes me feel that this is necessarily better than any others.
Janina do only make whitening products, so maybe over longer term use the differences would have been noticeable.
This activated charcoal toothpaste is the latest addition in the Janina range of whitening toothpastes.
How many different toothpastes can there be to whiten your teeth?
The answer seems to be countless, but all are supposed to work slightly differently to achieve the same result.
This particular paste is said to be a low abrasive paste that will not only help whiten teeth but help purify the breath ,control plaque, tartar and more.
The special ingredient here is activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal is a product that has recently found its way into toothpastes because of the properties that is has, that make it great at absorbing bacteria and toxins.
It has for a long time been used in medicines, particularly for poisoning, but going further back in Asian culture for a whole host of different remedies.
The structure of activated carbon means that when used it absorbs, collects and bonds together microscopic bacteria and particles to cleanse the mouth.
So how did I test it and how well does it work?
How I tested Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste
There is no hard science going on in the way that I tested this toothpaste.
I tested it much like you would, at home as part of my daily brushing routine that fits in and around my life.
I simply applied a pea sized amount of this toothpaste to my Oral-B Genius 9000 electric toothbrush and used the standard daily clean mode, with a CrossAction brush head.
Janina suggest brushing for more than 3 minutes.
I would normally brush for 2 but for the purpose of this testing, in the hope of seeing some results I brushed for 3 minutes each time in total.
I wish not to brush for longer as too much brushing can be damaging to the teeth.
I followed this process for 2 weeks.
I made no changes to my brushing other than using the this toothpaste and an extra minute brushing each time.
I flossed once a day and made no other significant changes in my diet or habits. So teeth staining liquids like tea were still present.
Summary of how I tested the toothpaste
- Test lasted for 2 weeks
- Used Oral-B Genius 9000 electric toothbrush
- Cleaned twice a day for 3 minutes
- Flossed once a day
- No changes in diet
If you do not follow the beauty blogs and media, then you may have missed out on the fact that ‘activated charcoal’ is the new wonder product for your teeth and oral health.
It’s ability to absorb means it can help reduce teeth stains and whiten teeth as a result as well as reduce bad breath and bacteria build up.
The whitening properties have perhaps been exaggerated a little but as a natural ingredient it is winning many over.
Many chose to use it in a powder form in its more natural and organic state.
Sadly, the abrasivity of this powder is not known.
Whilst Janina do not comment on how abrasive their paste is, other than saying it cleans without harsh abrasives, it is clear from use that it does not share the same level of abrasivity and is less damaging to the teeth and gums.
Dental professionals will normally advise against using charcoal, primarily because the long term safety and damage to the teeth is unknown as there is a lack of study.
Toothpaste brands will suggest it is safe, but in all reality there is a lack of supporting evidence from them too.
I look at the pros and cons of charcoal here, but the summary is to weigh up the pros and cons yourself and proceed only if you are happy.
Whitening pastes that have been tested could well be equally as damaging to the teeth, but because they have been tested, at least we know this.
Compared to a powder which is the form in which charcoal comes, a paste is in my opinion more pleasurable to use. It is not as organic, with lots of added ingredients, but the taste is normally minty fresh and not dusty and earthy like the powder.
Sure you can get used to it, but it’s not the most pleasant taste.
It also is a lot less messy. It is quite easy to create a mess with the powder.
The ingredients in Janina Ultra White Activated Whitening Toothpaste are:
Aqua, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Sodium Citrate, menthe Arvensis Leaf Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Monoflourophosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Zinc Chloride, Citric Acid, Charcoal Powder, Sodium Saccharin, Bromelain, Sodium Bicarbonate, Maltodextrin, Urea Peroxide, Sodium Persulfate, Methylparaben, Limonene, Papain, CI 77891
A lot of big words and names of ingredients you might not be familiar with. If you wish to get more familiar with some of these, you can learn more in our toothpaste ingredients post.
Whilst the product name and the product features does suggest whitening it is refreshing to see emphasis being put on on other benefits of using charcoal in a toothpaste.
Its ability to collect microscopic bacteria particles can help freshen the breath.
However to my knowledge charcoal cannot distinguish, so whilst it absorbs plaque it can also be absorbing good bacteria that exists too.
Now the toothpaste does contain many ingredients that help solve this imbalance and restore some order to the mouth and what is going on. I am no scientist nor do I understand all the properties of this paste but I can’t help but think some of the benefits of charcoal in the paste are lost when there are so many other ingredients.
Is there an argument that if the charcoal is so wonderful, why not use it in a purer state? Much like a really good quality wine, you normally would not mix it with lemonade as this would spoil what makes it so good?!
The 75ml tube stands upright on its lid, which is useful and helps the paste slide to the bottom of the tube.
It also has a flip lid, hurrah! This makes it easier for one handed use of the tube in my opinion.
Arriving sealed, once you remove the small foil cap that goes over the top of the tube you need to use the paste within 12 months. However, if used daily, this tube will likely last around 3 months, if used twice a day.
The paste is grey in colour and is probably not the most appealing toothpaste you have ever seen, but it smells and tastes minty fresh, one of the nicer ones I have used actually. There is a nice aftertaste.
You can also see flecks of charcoal on your teeth when applied and there is a very slight grip to the paste, before it is all brushed in.
Janina’s directions are to brush twice, preferably more times a day for more than 3 minutes.
Whilst I understand the logic behind these instructions I have chosen only to brush for up to 3 minutes twice a day.
Naturally the more frequently you brush and the longer you brush the more chance you have of seeing benefits.
However, you could do this with a regular toothpaste and may see extra benefits too.
There is also though the consideration that brushing too much can be bad for your teeth and gums.
Most dentists would agree that brushing more than 3 times a day is not necessary.
In fact, the new Kolibree Ara electric toothbrush that tracks your clean will not actually log any more than 3 cleans a day for this very reason.
As a result I am not a fan of this tactic as I believe the intention here is to achieve enhanced results from more focused brushing rather than encouraging longer term better oral care health practices.
Using more regularly will mean replacing a tube of this paste more frequently too, and it is not the cheapest.
I noticed no side effects when using this paste. However, with any toothpaste, should you see or experience sensitivity, bleeding or blistering and this does not subside within a couple of days, stop using and consult your dentist.
With 2 weeks testing under my belt on this paste I noticed no significant colour difference and I have read countless reports of others who have also seen no improvement. However, these comments of no improvement are outweighed by those who suggest they have seen changes. I thought I might have seen some small variation, but I am not sure if that was just my mind wanting them to be white.
I believe for some this is in fact true. If you have particularly stained teeth, from tannins that are found in tea, coffee, red wine etc, then brushing with Janina may well make the difference, particularly if you up your brushing frequency as they suggest.
I do think psychologically the grey paste can trick your mind into believing your teeth are whiter as they look white compared to the grey tone that was their previously during the brushing. I do not believe this to be intentional necessarily, but it is natural to think this, I know I have caught myself feeling this way.
There is some truth too I think in you brush better if you are using an expensive toothpaste.
If normally you buy a regular (but very acceptable) tube of toothpaste for £2, but invest in this tube at £11.50 that is over 5 times the price you would normally pay. As a result you want and expect it to have positive results. Therefore when brushing you pay more attention, apply the right technique and brush for longer to help it work.
Should you give this added attention with a regular paste, would you notice an improvement?!
At anywhere between £8-£14 for a 75ml tube, this paste is not cheap, but with an RRP of £11.50 is sort of on par, if not slightly higher than most whitening toothpastes. If you brush 3 or more times a day with this paste it could get expensive.
Summary of Daily Usage
- Flip lid
- Stands upright
- 75ml tube of paste
- Grey in colour
- 12 month shelf life
- Minty taste
- Suggests brushing more than twice a day for more than 2 minutes
- Doesn’t focus on the benefits of stain removal only
- Slightly above average for the price of a whitening paste
As I mentioned earlier in the review I saw no noticeable improvement in colour in my teeth. Then again my teeth were not heavily stained prior to use.
I also did not follow the instructions quite as Janina would like, thus perhaps reducing my chances of seeing marked improvements.
My teeth certainly felt clean and fresh after use, so I have no doubt it was cleaning my teeth fairly well.
The overwhelming evidence from other online sources would suggest individuals have seen marked improvement, however I fear this is potentially as a result of over brushing.
Conclusion, is Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste any good?
I do not think Janina’s charcoal toothpaste (view on Amazon) is the best paste you could use to clean and whiten your teeth.
Whilst it tastes minty fresh and is clearly not as abrasive as regular activated charcoal powder, I think the suggested technique of brushing 3 times a day for more than 3 minutes is one that goes against general dental advice in the way in which you should clean your teeth and ensure long term oral health.
When spending this amount of money on a paste, is it not better for it to be slightly more abrasive but use less frequently?
What I do like it the fact that charcoal is not used just for its whitening abilities, the benefits of fresh breath are also explained in the marketing of Janina.
Charcoals primary appealing feature is its porous nature and the ability to help clean. I think alternative products like Colgate’s Deep Clean Charcoal paste acknowledge this better and will offer similar results at a lesser price.
Electric Teeth Rating
- Where can I buy Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste toothpaste?
- What are the ingredients in Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste toothpaste?
- Aqua, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Sodium Citrate, menthe Arvensis Leaf Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Monoflourophosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Zinc Chloride, Citric Acid, Charcoal Powder, Sodium Saccharin, Bromelain, Sodium Bicarbonate, Maltodextrin, Urea Peroxide, Sodium Persulfate, Methylparaben, Limonene, Papain, CI 77891
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is a distinct mint flavour.
- How much should I use?
- A pea sized amount, like a regular toothpaste.
- How long should I brush for?
- There is Janina’s suggested more than 3 minutes preferable more than 2 times a day or there is the more common 2 minutes twice a day, which is the approach I took.
- Does it actually work?
- I did not see any whitening, but many others report improvement. I think this may have been influenced by extra brushing.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side affects from using this. Should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
- How long does it last?
- A tube like this should last about 3 month’s, less if used more frequently.
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Last updated: 2019-01-19 at 11:43 // Source: Amazon Associates