Lifestyle habits can cause stains to build up up on the outside of the teeth and make them look darker than they once were.
This product may make your teeth appear whiter, by removing surface stains.
It will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching can.
You should also be aware that the use of activated charcoal is not proven to be effective and dental professionals recommend being cautious about such products.
Our guide to the best charcoal toothpaste contains lots of helpful information.
In addition, I really encourage you to take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the subject of tooth whitening.
- It can potentially improve the colour of your teeth by removing stains
- Smart packaging
- 100% natural
- Not tested on animals
- Suitable for vegans
- Can appear expensive when compared to a normal toothpaste
- Can be messy and taste a bit gritty
- The true effects on the teeth are not known
- Everyone will get different results
- 6 month shelf life once opened
Does it actually work?
We understand you want whiter teeth, but this might not be the right product for you.
Tooth whitening is a complex process and every person’s circumstances and results are different (although the adverts and claims from many manufacturers don’t make this clear).
This product may work to remove surface stains from your teeth, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching will.
Teeth whitening – a quick explainer
There is a general misunderstanding of how whitening products work, which is why we’ve covered the topic in detail.
Some products, such as the one being reviewed here, remove stains. This is not the same as professional bleaching carried out by a dentist, and this is where much of the confusion stems from.
Before choosing a product or procedure, it’s important to understand the basics. This small investment of time will save you money and improve your oral health.
Whether opting for a stain removal product or professional bleaching, there are cost-effective options available, which we cover throughout our content.
We encourage you to learn more about teeth whitening, and the following articles (created by our in-house dentist) are a great place to start:
If you’re interested in whitening, our overall advice is to visit the dentist before using a whitening product, but you can find a more detailed explanation of this by reading the links shared above.
We’ve also created this short video, which further explains how stain removal products may not work the way you think:
Before & after results
Everyone’s teeth are different.
Our lifestyles, genetics and medical conditions all have an influence on our teeth.
Some people have heavily stained teeth, whilst others do not.
Procoal activated charcoal teeth whitening powder works by removing surface stains and may make your teeth appear whiter, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth.
The results you achieve by using Procal will be different to me.
I have tried many different products and have little to no staining on my teeth.
Because of these circumstances, it would therefore be inaccurate to show before and after images to suggest what results you might get, because simply put, your before and after results may be very different.
However, to give you an idea, visit our teeth whitening before and after page, and you can see the kind of results you can expect from a stain removal product such as this, and the results you can expect from professional bleaching.
The recommended retail price for PROCOAL is £19.99 but this can be typically purchased for £10 or less.
This is on par with the competition.
For this price, you get a tub that offers approximately 150 uses, which will last 2-4 months depending on how frequently you use it.
|PROCOAL Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder||2,189 Reviews||£9.99 £8.99||View on Amazon|
Where To Buy
Depending upon your location will to some extent depend on where you can purchase this powder.
Taste, Packaging etc
The whole concept of using charcoal as a toothpaste seems a bit strange.
Charcoal has some fantastic properties and has been used in healthcare for many years to deal with poisons, but for cleaning your teeth?!
The theory, although not exactly proven, is that the activated charcoal particles within the powders and toothpaste will lift the bacteria and debris that stick to the teeth to achieve a brighter and whiter smile.
Being a porous substance, the bacteria and compounds that stain the teeth are essentially bound together and pulled from the tooth surface by the charcoal aided by the light brushing with a toothbrush.
Therefore it works in principle like most other whitening toothpaste, by removing external 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 are more likely to see the benefits of this more than those who do not consume large amounts of these liquids.
There is something quite strange about dipping your toothbrush into a jar of black powder, that is charcoal.
Despite making me think of a summer BBQ, which this is far from, it’s just a psychological challenge from the white or bright coloured pastes I have become accustomed too.
However, put that to one side because it really is not all that bad.
Unlike the charcoal most of us think about, activated charcoal goes through a process said to be safe for use and due to the lack of additional ingredients is suitable for vegans.
The 60ml brown glass jar, with silver plastic lid, contains enough charcoal to last for approximately 150 uses which could be anywhere between 2-4 month’s use for most people. You only need to coat the tips of the toothbrush bristles.
Manufactured completely from coconut husks, the charcoal has no other ingredients or additives to it.
Once opened it has a shelf life of just 6 months.
The charcoal is relatively fine in its powder form, it is not big chunks, but it is not a smooth texture like most toothpaste.
When you put it in your mouth and onto the teeth, you expect to have a strange or perhaps not very pleasant taste, but there is no real taste to the charcoal as such.
There is certainly a grittiness to the charcoal, you can feel the particles that make it what it is, so there is some abrasive nature to it but I have tasted more conventional whitening pastes that have the same gritty texture. For you, it might just be a bit of an odd sensation to get used to.
The whitening process is actually the act of cleaning the teeth better to reveal more of their natural colour; removing the coating that many of us have on our teeth that comes as a result of the food we eat and drink.
As we have highlighted here in our research into activated charcoal toothpaste and powders, there is little scientific research into the effects of charcoal on the teeth and gums. Dentists suggest to proceed with caution and prefer it if you stick to more conventional means, whilst product brands like Procoal suggest it is completely safe. The reality is neither side have the evidence to confirm or suggest either way, so it is a bit of a case of he says she says.
Once you have coated the tips of the bristles on your brush, you brush your teeth as you would normally. Directions vary from brand to brand, PROCAL suggests brushing for 2-3 minutes and leaving for 2 minutes without brushing to allow the charcoal to have maximum effect, whilst some may suggest up to 5 minutes of brushing.
This is where you get what I refer to as the ‘Black Smile’. Your teeth and gums are now coated in this grey and black substance and you look like something from a horror film.
When the time has passed, spit out what you can.
Unlike a normal toothpaste, you now need to rinse and maybe even complete a follow up brushing with a normal toothpaste to clean away what’s left. Your teeth and gums can be left with a grey film on them otherwise.
How often you use the charcoal is then up to you. I would suggest no more than a couple of weeks.
Most brands suggest it is safe for everyday use, although there is a lack of evidence to confirm this. Procoal say to use 4-5 times a week.
If you choose to use just a few times a week, when not using, do like I did, use a regular toothpaste and ensure you are brushing at least twice a day.
How quickly the effects are visible will depend on you and your teeth.
If your teeth are in poor shape through poor oral hygiene then you may see instant results, whilst some will take weeks to see a difference and others may see absolutely no difference. The general consensus is that most will notice some difference over time.
Oddly though, I would suggest I had the feeling that my teeth and gums were slightly cleaner (not whiter) than normal. Whether there is any truth in this, I can’t say.
During and after use I found no additional sensitivity, aching or pain in my teeth or gums as some have reported. I did not see the colour improvement either. Do be aware that should you notice any abnormalities or extra sensitivity, that does not subside within a few days, from using activated charcoal products like Procoal then stop using and consult your dentist.
Charcoal can be messy even if you are careful. The fine powder can make a mess of your sink or clothes if you spill it. It can be cleaned up but because it is quite fine it is easily spread across a surface and excess can fall off the brush.
Also when you spit it out or wash it off it can be a thick grey sludge, so is a little more obvious.
Brush heads can become stained, so you may wish to have a different brush for Procoal compared to your normal brush, but that is personal preference.
There is just 1 ingredient in Procoal. It is 100% activated charcoal powder.
It does not contain fluoride, which is a recommended ingredient by most dental professionals.
There is an ongoing discussion amongst dental professionals about the safety and suitability of using activated charcoal on your teeth.
Ultimately there is little evidence that confirms it is effective at remove staining on the exterior surface of the tooth and there is little or no evidence as to the long term effects of using such a product.
Many kinds of toothpaste as well as charcoal powders are rated on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale, which ranks how abrasive the product is.
The scale runs from 0-250.
- 0-70 – Low abrasive
- 71-100 – Medium abrasive
- 101-150 – Highly abrasive
- 151-250 – Regarded as harmful limit
Procoal claim that their product is non-abrasive, but fail to display the actual RDA value.
We would suggest that you use for no more than a couple of weeks at a time if you really want to use it. However, for most people, you are best off sticking with a good fluoride based toothpaste.
If you wish to learn more, our extensive guide to charcoal toothpaste explains all you need to know.
Is it eco-friendly?
Made in the UK, the activated charcoal used within this product is completely natural. It is suitable for vegans and no animal testing is performed.
Other whitening products from Procoal
The brand manufacture and market a set of teeth whitening strips, under the brand Swiftwhite, called Swiftwhite Premium Teeth Whitening Strips. We have reviewed these here.
Just like the activated charcoal powder being reviewed here, all they are is a stain removal product. This means they may make the teeth look whiter, by removing staining and discolouration that exists on the outside surface of the teeth. They do bot use peroxides to change the colour of the teeth.
What we would like to see improved
If you read the product description correctly, Procoal are upfront about the fact that their product will remove surface stains and discolouration from the teeth.
However, phrases such as ‘significantly brighten your smile’ and claims of ‘Avg. 5 shades whiter in ~ 7 days’ are easily interpreted that this can bring some very impressive results, which I know will not be the case for all.
There appears to be no supporting evidence for the claim of 5 shades whiter in 7 days. Was a clinical study carried out? How have they come to this conclusion?
Essentially, what I would like to see Procoal do, is the same as what I want of most other companies selling this sort of product.
I would like them to be clearer about the difference between stain removal and teeth whitening.
Too much confusion exists between these terms and too often, as is the case here, the word whitening is used when really stain removal is a more appropriate description.
Whilst removing stains or discolouration on the exterior surface of the teeth can make them look whiter, it is not technically teeth whitening.
Those people who have no staining on the external surface of the teeth will see no benefits from this product.
Ratings / Conclusion
As we’ve mentioned in the results section, it’s difficult for us (or anybody else) to systematically test numerous whitening products.
For this reason, we have chosen to omit star ratings.
However, below you can find a summary of our closing thoughts.
Fueled by social media and compelling adverts, activated charcoal is currently perceived as one of the miracle cures at present for achieving whiter teeth.
The reality is that it is not as positive as may believe, and it is only ever going to remove stains from your teeth, it won’t technically whiten them, you need chemicals for that.
If you really want to give charcoal a try, this is potentially one of the ‘better’ products that is not ridiculously overpriced and is sold by a UK based company.
The real evidence to support its effectiveness and safety is lacking.
Whilst Procoal should be given credit for producing a 100% natural product, with no unnecessary extras added, you are just as likely to get equivalent results from using an electric toothbrush and a tube of regular toothpaste, without the grey/black smile and potential mess associated with using charcoal.
|PROCOAL Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder||2,189 Reviews||£9.99 £8.99||View on Amazon|
- Where can I buy Procoal activated charcoal teeth whitening powder?
- The best way to obtain Procoal is via online outlets such as Amazon and Procoal directly.
- What are the ingredients in Procoal?
- 100% natural coconut shell activated charcoal.
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is really no taste to the charcoal. Initially, the texture is a bit gritty and the colour is off-putting but there is no real taste to it.
- How does it work?
- The activated charcoal absorbs bacteria that forms the stains found on teeth.
- How much should I use?
- Just enough to coat the tips of the brush bristles.
- How long should I brush for?
- 2-3 minutes of normal brushing is advised by Procoal followed by a couple of minutes left in the mouth before rinsing out.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side effects from using Procoal. 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?
- Procoal would suggest so. On contact with them, they said; “The product meets European Safety Regulations, basically the product has been certified as safe for its purposes by a third party British laboratory. Placing a product without it meeting the EU safety guidelines is illegal, as a small business and as conscious human beings we can never allow ourselves to put a product on the market if it wasn’t safe. Also, if the product didn’t have the safety documentations, our insurers would refuse to insure our company! In addition to the EU safety regulations/certification. We hired a dentist to carry out tests on the product, particularly because some people believe charcoal “erodes” the enamel. The feedback we have received from the dentist is that our charcoal powder is actually less abrasive than the Silica they use for polishing their patient’s teeth.”
Do you own or have you used Procoal activated charcoal teeth whitening powder?
Are there certain things that you really like or dislike?
Let me and other readers of this article know what you think, by commenting below. Your feedback and opinions are incredibly valuable.