It's been used in water filters and stomach ache supplements for decades, but in the past few years, the activated charcoal trend has blown up like nobody's business. Now it's in face masks, air fresheners, sponges, and... the best charcoal toothpastes? It's one thing to smear something on your face, and another entirely to put it in your mouth. It's natural that one would have some questions.
For one, does charcoal actually work to whiten your teeth? I've been using only charcoal toothpaste for several months now, and I can confidently say that my teeth are in fact whiter and brighter. Because activated charcoal (aka activated carbon) has huge absorption capacities, it's been used in hospitals and in the medical field to soak up heavy metals and treat overdoses. The logic, then, is that it uses these same absorption qualities to essentially soak up stains, odors, and bacteria in the mouth.
The market is loaded with all kinds of charcoal whitening products right now, like powders and detox solutions. The downside, however, is that this process can be a little messy. That's why I opt for a toothpaste on a daily basis; they're usually a bit cleaner, and they're typically infused with essential oils and flavors that leave a refreshing, clean taste in your mouth.
1This Vegan-Friendly Option That's Careful About Its Ingredients
This Cali White toothpaste is vegan-friendly and free of gluten, peroxide, parabens, and triclosan for those who like to keep a close eye on their labels. All the flavors are natural and the coconut oil is certified organic (preserving even more of the antibacterial properties). The food-grade activated charcoal is even combined with baking soda to amp up all the whitening abilities without any of the sensitivity. No wonder reviewers call it the "best one yet" as far as whitening and freshness.
2This Xylitol Toothpaste That Really Helps With Fresh Breath
Because it uses Xylitol to prevent the growth of bacteria, reviewers say that this Fine Vine Triple Action teeth whitening toothpaste "clears up that nasty morning breath like a charm." That's because Xylitol has been shown to increase salivary flow, which flushes out bacteria and prevents dry mouth (a major cause of bad breath). It's also got tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and coconut oil, all of which have antibacterial properties. Because this toothpaste helps to remove coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco stains, the before and after pictures are astonishing.
3This One That Is Great For People With Sensitive Teeth
This Bright Up activated charcoal toothpaste has over a thousand reviews because people are loving how gentle it is. It uses only vegan and eco-friendly ingredients to remove stains from coffee, tea, and tobacco. "It does not peel my lips like other whitening toothpastes," wrote one reviewer, while another raved, "Leaves my teeth feeling fresh, clean and not sensitive! I can enjoy sweet foods again!"
4This Affordable Toothpaste For People On A Budget
If you're looking to jump on the charcoal bandwagon, but you're on a budget, this Dental Expert toothpaste offers all the whitening qualities at a great price. It uses gentle ingredients (like peppermint and clove oil) that are safe for freshening up sensitive teeth, and it skips the artificial colors and harsh chemicals. Reviewers say, "It makes your teeth feel so clean. You can see the change in the color of your teeth after the first use."
5This Charcoal, Coconut, And Bentonite Clay Combo That's My Personal Fav
My personal choice for charcoal toothpaste is My Magic Mud, because it uses a combination of genius ingredients that work wonders. Bentonite clay (another absorbent powder) to further soak up stains and odors, while mint essential oils leave your mouth feeling extra fresh. Then there's coconut oil, which fights bacteria and detoxes teeth, and has even been shown to significant decrease plaque buildup. Plus, it's gluten-free and Paleo, which is important to me personally.
6This USA-Made Toothpaste With Clear-Cut, Smart Ingredients
If you're concerned about quality, this PINAKKLE toothpaste is made entirely in the USA, and is FDA Registered, cGMP certified, and produced in a high-quality facility. Its ingredients are pronounceable and clear — Diatomaceus earth to absorb stains, baking soda to whiten, Xylitol to freshen breath, and coconut oil and tea tree to fight bacteria. Reviewers also say that their teeth are less sensitive, their breath is fresher, and their mouth looks and feels so much cleaner.
7This One That Has That Classic Fresh Mint Flavor
Some people are turned off by the interesting herbal notes in some toothpastes, but this one from Carbon+ uses real peppermint essential oils to give you a fresh flavor that reviewers say "tastes incredible." It also uses tea tree (which is a naturally antibacterial and antifungal essential oil) to fight bad breath odors. Xylitol is another solid ingredient on this list, which according to dentists, stops dry mouth by getting you to produce more saliva, therefore flushing out bacteria. Best of all, people say it whitens just as well as the rest of them.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.