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.
In this review, I am looking at Pro Teeth Whitening Co’s Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder (view here on Amazon) which is the best-selling product within Amzon.co.uk Dental Care range (May 2017).
An impressive feat, I am going to find out whether this stuff really works and what it is like to use in comparison to a normal toothpaste and other charcoal products.
Of course, being a review I will give you my honest thoughts, and opinions and compare it to other products I have used.
Customer reviews online say it works.
The thousands upon thousands of Instagram images, YouTube videos and beauty blog articles would too suggest it and similar products are the next best thing in teeth whitening…So are the cosmetic dentists out of a job? Let’s find out.
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Does it actually work?
It can work.
I say it can, because it is not quite like conventional cosmetic teeth whitening where results are guaranteed.
The activated charcoal works to clean the teeth better and lift those substances that cause staining and discolouration to the teeth. Therefore as it is just cleaning more effectively, rather than whitening through colouring the teeth, the results are not the same for all.
Many will see positive results and be left with whiter and brighter teeth, but some will not be.
It cannot fight discolouration that comes as a result of teeth ageing like cosmetic whitening can, no whitening toothpaste or powder can (unless it has bleaches within it).If you are a smoker, big coffee, tea or red wine drinker and guilty of paying less attention to your teeth than you should, it is you who will see most benefit from this.At the time of writing 85% of reviews from users on Amazon have rated this with a 4 or 5* rating, so it must be working for the majority.
How much does it cost?
£14.99 is the retail price for Pro Teeth Whitening Co’s activated charcoal product.
I paid around £12 for a tub of the stuff which seems to be about the going price, a few pounds of the retail price.
My research shows it has sold for as little as £8.79 but those occasions are few and far between. £10-12 seems to be the average price to pay.
Comparing to alternative but similar products this is about the same price.
Where can I buy it?
Depending upon your location will to some extent depend on where you can purchase this whitening powder.
Amazon’s price tends to include shipping whereas it is extra with Pro Teeth Whitening Co, making the product more expensive overall.
- It can improve teeth colour and ‘whiten’ them
- Smart packaging
- 100% natural
- Not tested on animals
- Suitable for vegans
- Can appear expensive when compared to a normal toothpaste
- Can be messy
- Will not whiten teeth for all
- The true effects on the teeth are not known
- Not the best taste
- Takes more time, if done properly
Would I recommend it?
Yes, with a slight catch.
Despite my lack of noticeable colour improvement, I can’t say whole heartedly it works or it does not work. Other users feedback would suggest they have had very successful results.
Therefore based on this, I would suggest it is worth a try. However, the catch to me saying this is you being aware that you might not see improvements and the potential damage done to the teeth is still not known for sure.
The first activated charcoal product I ever tried was PROCOAL (reviewed here.)
I would be lying if I said the very idea of brushing my teeth with it seemed like a bit of a strange idea, but I got used to it, despite the resulting black smile.
A toothpaste is still my preference; I have had years of doing it this way, so it is hardly surprising.
Was the experience any different with Pro Teeth Whitening Co’s activated charcoal product?
Ultimately, no, but psychologically my mind was all up for it, I mean the company name includes the word ‘teeth whitening’ so my teeth were set to become whiter with this, weren’t they?
How I tested the activated charcoal
Let’s be clear here, I have not tested this charcoal whilst wearing a white coat in a lab with lots of clever science tools around me.
Just like you I am a regular chap, giving my thoughts, feedback and opinion based on having tried the product like you would.
Therefore my tests are simple without a controlled environment and open to influence, although I try to remain impartial and balanced throughout.
I used Pro Teeth Whitening Co for a total of 3 weeks. During each week, I used the activated charcoal twice a day as advised by them.
After each clean with the charcoal I did complete another, quicker clean with water to remove residue charcoal and any greyness left on my teeth or gums by the substance.
I used an electric toothbrush, the Genius 9000 from Oral-B.
I flossed once a day and made no other significant changes in my diet or habits.
When using the activated charcoal, to give it time to work, I extended the brushing to 3 minutes and then left it on my teeth for 2 minutes before rinsing.
Summary of how I tested the charcoal powder
- Test lasted for 3 weeks
- Used Oral-B Genius 9000 electric toothbrush
- Cleaned twice a day for 2 minutes allowed it to sit for 2 minutes before rinsing and brushing with water.
- Flossed once a day
- No changes in diet
Let’s start with some important information about charcoal, or more specifically activated charcoal.
This is not your regular coal you stick on the BBQ, ground down into a powder and put into a jar. This is an all natural product, made largely of coconut shells (more on that later).
The point here is this is ‘safe’ to use on the teeth and you should not attempt making your own at home from the bag of coal you have in the garage or shed, that will not be.
Activated charcoal goes through a specific process to make it what it is and safer for you to use and ingest.
What I wish to make clear is that the long term effects of using activated charcoal are not known. I have researched this extensively, looking at it from both sides in our charcoal toothpaste guide.
Companies producing activated charcoal insist it is safe for use everyday, but most dentists urge caution as the damage to the tooth enamel is not known. Sadly no real studies in the use of charcoal exist to support either side of the argument.
Some brands such as Beverly Hills, upon request, provided documentation to show the abrasiveness of their product in comparison to others, showing it fell well below more abrasive whitening pastes available today. This is good news.
I reached out to Pro Teeth Whitening Co for any information on what research they have done or evidence they can provide to confirm it is safe for everyday use as they advise. I received a response, but not one that was overly helpful or reassuring.
“The abrasive nature is very little in this product – the charcoal is actually so fine that it’s hardly abrasive.
This works like a sponge, extracting the stains off your teeth.
It is used by many thousands of people and it is manufactured here in the UK with all the necessary safety assessment sheets”
From using it I can say the powder is very fine, so it is unlikely to be as abrasive as some other products, but, there is no evidence to hand for this.
Now I am not here to make any final assessment on the safety of activated charcoal products, but I don’t want you to be under any illusion when it comes to using it. You only have one set of teeth, so you need to be happy with what you are using on them.
Hundreds of thousands of people appear to be using this and other products with few reported issues, myself included, but without clinical research we will never really know for sure.
I do stress that if at any point you experience discomfort, bleeding or sensitivity that does not subside within a couple of days, stop using and consult with your dentist.
The reason charcoal is a popular option is aside from it being a natural product, it has some excellent properties.
It has been used in the medical profession for many years, particularly to treat poisoning.
The charcoal is a porous substance that absorbs the bacteria it comes into contact with bonding it all together and achieving a cleaner and whiter smile once used on the teeth.
Therefore it works in principle like most other whitening toothpastes, by removing stains. It is not actually ‘whitening’ teeth by changing their colour, but getting off the dirt, marks and stains that hide or dampen the true tooth colour.
If you are a heavy drinker of tea, coffee or red wine then you will likely see the benefits of this more than those who do not consume large amounts of these liquids.
Did I see any change in my teeth during or after use? No, sadly not. However, I have used many different whitening products and I am sure that my teeth cannot be made whiter without cosmetic treatment, so for you, the results could be very different.
There is something quite strange about dipping your toothbrush into a jar of grey powder, that is charcoal. Now you may expect it to be black in colour, like PROCOAL is but this has been mixed with clay which gives it the lighter and perhaps more appealing grey colour.
The small 60ml glass jar is fitted with a screw cap lid and is nicely presented in a white box too. It looks the part.
It also wins because everything about this product is natural. No additives or preservatives or artificial substances, suitable for vegans. Although unlike many of the other activated charcoal products, this teeth whitening solution is not just charcoal.
The full list of ingredients are:
Bentonite Clay, Calcium Carbonate, Activated Charcoal (Cocos Nucifera Shell Powder), Flavouring (Mint), Peppermint(Mentha piperita), Sodium Chloride, Ginger Root Extract (Zingiber officinale).
The addition of the clay is to aid the charcoals work, helping absorbing whilst also delivering essential minerals. Sodium Chloride (commonly known as salt) helps too with the clean whilst the Ginger and Peppermint help with freshness and fight bacteria and inflammation.
The recommendation is to pour a small amount onto your hand and dab the wet bristles of the brush in the powder. This can be a little messy, so I found myself dipping my brush into the jar, but too much water on the head can drip into the tub and ruin the contents, so be considerate of this.
The charcoal is really fine in its powder form, it is not big chunks, but it is not a 100% smooth texture to look at, like most toothpastes. However press it between you fingers and you can’t really feel it, it really is like a powder. You can’t really notice a rough gritty texture.
When you put it in your mouth and onto the teeth, you expect to have a strange or perhaps not very pleasant taste, it is supposed to taste of peppermint. Whilst I could smell it, I could not taste it.
The taste was for me a little ‘earthy’. Better than PROCOAL but not exactly the most pleasant experience.
You can’t get away from the fact that the first few uses are a bit strange and it takes some getting used to. There is not quite the grittiness I had expected, but I found if my toothbrush was too wet, the charcoal had a tendency to clump a little.
To use, brush your teeth like you would normally. Directions vary from brand to brand, PROCAL suggest brushing for 1-2 minutes and leave for 2 minutes without brushing to allow the charcoal to have maximum effect.
When you have brushed and you are playing the waiting game for a couple of minutes, you do have a rather dull grey colour to your teeth and gums and it is a bit odd to look at, although the coverage is not as great as the darker charcoal products. If you are not all that sold on the taste, this of course lingers too.
When the time has passed, spit out what you can and then rinse your mouth out. You may need to brush again but just with water this time to remove residue.
This whole process is easily twice if not 3 times as long as regular brushing. Maye a normal whitening toothpaste is just as effective here? Less time, tastes better and has just the same effect?
From the tub you will get around 150 uses, so it should last you for 2-3 month’s, even if you use twice a day.
It is worth noting too that this can potentially stain your toothbrush, just something to be aware of.
You can use this whitening powder everyday, in place or your regular toothpaste or you could use it a little less frequently. There does however need to be some level of consistency to allow the charcoal to work and take effect. You could use just once a day if you are a bit concerned about the longer term effect of using such.
The results, may not be as quick for you if you use less frequently, but that said, how quickly any resuts show if at all will differ for many.
Heavily stained teeth, will likely see the biggest benefit, particularly if no previous whitening process been followed.
During and after use I found no additional sensitivity in my teeth or gums. Some have reported bleeding and inflammation, but everyone can react differently.
The RRP of Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder by Pro Teeth Whitening Co is £14.99 which is cheaper than its closest rival PROCOAL that is £19.99.
Both can be picked up cheaper than RRP, with Pro Teeth Whitening (view here on Amazon) coming in on average at £12, keeping a slightly higher than average price of PROCAL, but actually being the better-seller according to Amazon sales rankings.
For this type of product, which aims to deliver results then I believe it is a fair ask, even if it tips the scales lightly at the higher end of the price range.
Summary of Daily Usage
- Smart plastic jar
- Contains 60ml of activated charcoal – approx 150 uses
- Grey in colour
- Very fine texture to the powder, not as gritty as expected
- Could smell but not taste the mint flavour – tasted ‘earthy’
- Brush for 1-2 minutes and leave for 2 further minutes before rinsing and brushing off
- Whitens teeth by removing stain causing bacteria better, the charcoal absorbs this
- Can be instant whitening effect or may have limited signs of improvement for some
- Can be messy and stain brush heads
- Priced on par with popular whitening toothpastes
- Takes a lot more time than a regular paste
- Can be often be purchased for less than RRP of £14.99
- Suitable for vegans
Part of me feels like I am missing the magic here.
When I look at and read the reviews, on Amazon some 85% have rated this 4 or 5*. That’s over 1500 people.
You do not normally rate it this highly unless something works.
Personally I have not seen any noticeable results myself, but I have already suggested this is because my teeth are really stain free already, so I am not the best candidate to try this on.
Some 11% of reviewers on Amazon rated Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder by Pro Teeth Whitening Co poorly, the majority saying it made no difference.
Activated charcoal from any brand is not a magical cure, it is one solution to help, but is not guaranteed to work for everyone, no whitening product is, unless you bleach them cosmetically.
The results for yourself will vary, but it is clear a large proportion of users have seen benefits, even if I have not.
Conclusion, is Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder by Pro Teeth Whitening Co any good?
Just because I have not personally seen results that we would all desire, to say this product is no good would be unfair, but the lack of results mean I cannot fully endorse this product.
It is not as simple to use as a regular toothpaste, it is not as cheap and the taste is not as nice, but this is natural, no artificial products and suitable for many, including vegans.
There is no denying a paste or powder like this is a cheaper solution than professional cosmetic whitening and may still deliver acceptable results to some.
My personal feelings err slightly on the side of caution more than anything just because the implications of long term use of charcoal are unknown; but how can I argue with so many positive comments and feedback from the wider population who have tried this?
So many report improvement.
Want to whiten your teeth, looking for a natural way to achieve it? For £12 what have you got to lose? Just bear in mind the additional time required, I will still opt for the paste.
Electric Teeth Rating
- Where can I buy Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder?
- What are the ingredients in Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Powder?
- Bentonite Clay, Calcium Carbonate, Activated Charcoal (Cocos Nucifera Shell Powder), Flavouring (Mint), Peppermint(Mentha piperita), Sodium Chloride, Ginger Root Extract (Zingiber officinale).
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is really no overpowering taste to the charcoal. Whilst I could smell the mint flavour I could not taste it
- How does it work?
- The activated charcoal absorbs bacteria that forms the stains found on teeth. Absorbing and removing these bacteria helps whiten the teeth by removing what would normally stick and discolour the teeth.
- How much should I use?
- Just enough to coat the tips of the brush bristles.
- How long should I brush for?
- It is advised to brush for 1-2 minutes like you would normally, then leave in the mouth for a couple of minutes. You should then rinse and brush again with just water to remove residue.
- Does it actually work?
- Yes it can do as explained above in the full review.
- 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?
- It lasts for approximately 150 uses.
- Is it safe? / Does it damage the enamel on my teeth?
- The manufacturer suggest it is safe. When asked they could not provide any evidence other than telling me it was very fine and hardly abrasive. Dentists have concerns over the use or activated charcoal and the long term implications on the teeth and the enamel surfaces are unknown, but no dedicated studies exist to really prove either way.
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Last updated: 2019-01-19 at 15:03 // Source: Amazon Associates