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.
Containing activated charcoal, questions exist over the suitability of toothpaste that contain such. Read our detailed guide to charcoal toothpaste to learn more.
If white teeth is the reason you are considering this paste, you could do a lot worse than learning about the best methods to whiten your teeth. All the key facts and insights are included.
- It can potentially improve the colour of your teeth by removing stains
- Promotes the reduction of bad breath as well as teeth whitening
- Feels like it cleans well
- Ease of use
- Everyone will get different results
- Screw cap
- It’s all in Japanese
- Taste – not to my liking
- Unable to confirm if any better than a regular toothpaste
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:Watch Our Teeth Whitening Video Course
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.
Sumigaki charcoal toothpaste 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 Sumigaki 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.
Considering this is an imported product the price is pretty reasonable at approximately £6.50 per tube, at the time of writing.
Where To Buy
Within the UK, the main outlet through which this can be purchased is Amazon, but eBay is an option also.
- Charcoal works to sources of the smell and plaque
- Beneficial to whiten teeth, remove surface plaque, smell, prevent cavaties, etc.
- Herb mint flavor
- non fluoride
Taste, Packaging etc
Charcoal toothpaste and powders are of real interest at the moment and I have been conducting a great deal of research and investigation into it and what it can do for the teeth and the body.
There are thousands of people on Instagram, YouTube and in beauty and fashion blogs and printed media claiming how wonderful charcoal is as a whitening product for your teeth.
Whilst there is evidence from all of these different users that it can have some positive impact on the colour of your teeth, for the most part, and for those with already pretty good dental hygiene, the differences are almost impossible to tell.
This is ultimately as a result of how teeth whitening works.
Unless a paste contains bleach or peroxide, it can’t change the natural tooth colour, the best it can do is remove the stains on the outside surface of the teeth (extrinsic stains).
The food, drink and lifestyle we lead can cause a dulling of the natural tooth colour.
Charcoal and other whitening pastes can be more efficient at helping lift this discolouration off of the teeth, giving a whitening effect, but in reality, you are just revealing the natural tooth colour, no chemical change in the tooth colour has taken place.
Those with no staining will see no results form such pastes.
Sumigaki is no exception to this.
What makes charcoal potentially better and why it is being talked about so much is that charcoals properties. It has the ability to absorb and it can be abrasive, so it can help remove stains and essentially absorb microscopic molecules that may have stained the teeth or caused bad breath.
Please do not think that by using Sumigaki or any other charcoal paste or powder it is suddenly going to take your teeth to really shiny white gnashers.
Now I will admit my Japanese is lacking so I am a little limited on how much detail I can go into, but having tested it for two weeks, so I am in a good position to give my thoughts, feedback and opinions.
Using the wonderful Google Translate, the Sumigaki toothpaste packaging does not really shout about being able to whiten teeth; it does acknowledge this, but actually focuses on the freshness of the breath and removal of odours from the mouth.
At the core this is what charcoal does well, removing the bad bacteria that can affect the health of our teeth and gums and the freshness of our breath.
This paste is certainly black in colour and has a very fine grit to it if you are specifically looking to taste the charcoal, but for the most part, it is a fairly smooth paste.
Straight out of the tube it has an odd flavour. It is supposed to be mint, but it smelt and initially tasted a bit more like a bubblegum flavour. I then within a few seconds got the mint taste, but I have to say this for me has to be one of the worst tasting toothpastes I have ever used.
Whether I am the only one who thinks this, I am not sure.
I did not like the resulting taste and felt I had to really rinse my mouth out well post clean, something I would not normally do.
When cleaning the paste does go from a black colour to a very dull grey colour and does foam a bit, but not as much as Colgate’s Deep Clean Charcoal paste.
Although the taste wasn’t for me, my teeth did feel clean after each use.
I don’t suffer from bad breath so I am not sure if the effects would be better for someone who does, but I can’t say I noticed the freshness lasting longer than most other toothpaste.
And unlike charcoal powders that are normally brushed onto the teeth for a couple of minutes, left for a couple of more and then rinsed off, you use this just like a normal toothpaste.
Whilst I can’t read Japanese, the white packaging is smart with a screw cap — although I prefer a flip lid — that allows you to stand the tube upright on a countertop and is easier to use one handed.
As far as I am aware only select sellers are importing it into the UK and you won’t find this on shop shelves at Boots, Superdrug or Tesco.
At around £6.50 for a 100g tube, the price is actually very good in my mind compared to the competition.
There is enough to last approximately 3 months.
I think I would rather pay a little more to get an English packaged product from a brand I am more familiar with, but still given the clean and fresh feeling (even if it was not to my taste) is pretty good.
Sadly I am unable to confirm if it is really any better at cleaning than a normal toothpaste — this is something I believe you will feel personally after weeks and weeks of use or if you notice a difference in your overall oral health.
Using Google’s translate tool I understand the ingredients of this paste to be:
Hydrophosphoric acid (cleaning agent), sorbitol, glycerin (wetting agent), silica (thickener), lauric acid Na (inclusion) cellulose Ethanol (solvent), 3 Mg (stabilizer) of phosphoric acid, lauroyl sarcosine Na (blowing agent), Ethylparaben / propylparaben (preservative), saccharin Na (sweetener).
The ingredient of charcoal does seem to be missing, but to be fair I am relying on a digital tool to read the ingredients from the packaging and translate to English. A bit of searching on the internet has failed to turn up any more thorough list.
I don’t have any reason to suggest that this product is flat out dangerous or should be avoided in any way.
I am translating the ingredients from Japanese and most seem to be typical of this type of toothpaste.
However, it does appear to have no fluoride in it, which is an ingredient most dentists would suggest is included.
The abrasivity of the paste is also unknown. Although I didn’t get the sensation that it was too abrasive, it could be and for your own safety, unless you find out otherwise, only use this for a couple of weeks at a time.
Is it eco-friendly?
Few tubes of toothpaste are to my knowledge eco-friendly and I am not suggesting that this should be.
By reading this review, you will get a good idea of what to expect, which will stop you potentially wasting the tube of paste because you don’t like it or it doesn’t work how you quite imagined.
If you are able to, once having used this paste make sure you check locally to see if there are options to recycle the tube rather than sending it to landfill or for incineration.
What we would like to see improved
Being a Japanese toothpaste, the intended market of Japan is a bit different from the UK, Europe and the USA, so the way in which the product is marketed is a little different.
However, globally charcoal can potentially pose an issue for your teeth and the whitening effects might not be as you expected.
From what I can tell, however, whitening is not the promoted message of this paste, instead reducing odours in the mouth (bad breath) is the main message of this paste.
English on the packaging, for me, would be a plus, but that is because I don’t currently know any Japanese.
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.
I didn’t like the taste of this toothpaste, although my teeth did feel clean after use.
I experienced no side effect or abnormalities and the paste did not taste or too gritty or overly abrasive.
The lack of English language or rather my lack of Japanese has not endeared this product to me.
My personal feeling and conclusion is that you can probably opt for something similar, from a local known brand, that will perform just as well but with added confidence that you can have from being able to read the packaging.
- Where can I buy Sumigaki Japanese Charcoal toothpaste?
- At the time of writing the only places, I could purchase this from without importing it myself from Japan was Amazon or eBay.
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is a distinct mint flavour, which for me left a not so pleasant aftertaste.
- How much should I use?
- A pea sized amount, like a regular toothpaste.
- How long should I brush for?
- The standard 2 minutes.
- Does it actually work?
- I did not see any whitening, but then again it does not promote this too heavily.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side effects 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 months.
Do you own or have you used the Sumigaki charcoal toothpaste?
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.