Is Activated Charcoal Safe?

Naturally Whiten Teeth

Today, you have probably heard about Activated Charcoal and it’s many and varied benefits.  But is it safe?  Will it damage the enamel on my teeth?

Today we need to use the power of the internet to learn ALL the good and bad topics before we make decisions.

Most Activated Carbon studies and posts are overwhelmingly positive, but let’s get both sides here.

So, let’s look at what some doctors say about Activated Carbon (another term for Activated Charcoal).

From Dr. Axe, Food is Medicine website:

Whitens Teeth

Have your teeth become stained from coffee, tea, wine or berries? Activated charcoal helps whiten teeth while promoting good oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease.

It works to whiten teeth by adsorbing plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain teeth. This activated charcoal use is cost-effective and an all-natural solution for a bright smile.

BE CAREFUL, it can (and will) stain grout and fabrics. Protect counters, floors and clothing before using.

To whiten your teeth naturally, wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear.

For best results, brush your teeth with activated charcoal two-three times per week.

Note: If you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers, it’s possible that activated charcoal will stain them. In addition, if your teeth become sensitive, quit using it.

From WebMD:

Activated Charcoal is G.R.A.S. (Generally Regarded As Safe by The F.D.A.) and is used in most emergency rooms around the country today.

Side effects. When you take it by mouth, activated charcoal can cause:

Black stools, Black tongue, Vomiting or diarrhea, Constipation (as an aside, here’s an interesting article on using special Yoga poses to relieve constipation)

In more serious cases, it can cause gastrointestinal blockages.

Risks. Do not combine activated charcoal with drugs used for constipation (cathartics such as sorbitol or magnesium citrate). This can cause electrolyte imbalances and other problems.

Interactions. Activated charcoal may reduce or prevent the absorption of certain drugs. This may include drugs such as:

Acetaminophen, Digoxin, Theophylline, Tricyclic antidepressants

Do not use activated charcoal as a supplement if you take these medications.  Activated charcoal may also reduce absorption of certain nutrients. has some basic information on ingesting Activated Carbon as well:

The acronym PHAILS represents the following situations in which activated charcoal use is not helpful, requires caution, or is contraindicated: P–Pesticides, petroleum distillated, unprotected airway; H–Hydrocarbons, heavy metals, greater than 1 hour; A–Acids, alkali, alcohols, altered level of consciousness, aspiration risk; I–Iron, ileus, intestinal obstruction; L–Lithium, lack of gag reflex; S–Solvents, seizures.

British Medical Journal Lancet:

The British medical journal, Lancet, discusses the amazing ability of the human skin to allow transfer of liquids, gases, and even micro-particles through its permeable membrane and pores, by the application of a moist, activated charcoal poultice and compress which actually draw bacteria and poisons through the skin and into the poultice or compress! The article describes the use of activated charcoal compresses to speed the healing of wounds and eliminate their odors. But the activated charcoal poultices must be kept moist and warm for this healing process to occur.

Read More of This Article Here:

So, with this short post, you can make a more informed decision about why Activated Charcoal may help you.  Most research done on AC is based upon ingesting the powdered form, but some, like in the Lancet discuss activated charcoal uses topically.  However, there are many other posts about using AC for teeth whitening, skin cleaning, even hair shampoo!

If emergency doctors use it for internal poisoning and many users recommend the safe application on teeth, as an alternative to harsh chemicals or bleaches, it seems that Activated Charcoal wins in most cases.

How To Naturally Whiten Teeth

Natural teeth whitening

How can I naturally whiten my teeth?

There is a big trend today toward a more non-toxic lifestyle.  We are consistently bombarded with chemicals- from the air we breathe,  the food we eat, and the clothes we wear.   Even the products we use on a daily basis such as soap and grooming products contain toxins.  So it only makes sense to remove these toxic chemicals from our lives wherever it’s possible – and even better when it’s easy to do so.

Now you can easily whiten your teeth and keep a non-toxic lifestyle at the same time.

Nope, you don’t need harsh chemicals to whiten you teeth any longer.

Safely whitening your teeth is now as easy as brushing with a whitening toothpaste.  But what about the bleaching chemicals in those big brands?  Do I have to use those?  

Again, Nope!

Your gums are basically made of thin skin tissue with a lot of blood vessels near the surface.  This is a good thing, but also a prime place to absorb toxic chemicals like fluoride or cadmium (in cigarettes) into your body.  Many over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpastes, gels and powders actually contain similar harsh chemicals.

And what about whitening strips or gels?  Well, maybe you really don’t need them any longer.

Crest Whitening harmed my gums

Years ago, I used some over-the-counter teeth whitening chemical product.  It was a famous brand so I thought I’d be fine because I thought, “surely it’s been tested and would be safe.”  Well, now I know it wasn’t.  I left the chemical goo on my teeth for an extended period of time – probably an hour if I recall – thinking I’d be really getting my teeth dazzling white now!

Even though I was in my 20s, my teeth were instantly more sensitive to cold – especially the lower front teeth!

Since that time, I’ve also noticed a significant deterioration of my gums.  Now, because I am aging this problem it can come from bone loss, but my brother and other family members do not suffer from this like I do.  

I have to believe that my tooth sensitivity was due to using teeth whitening gel that I used too long and too often.

Teeth Whitening is not Teeth Bleaching

There is a difference between Whitening agents and Bleaching agents for tooth whitening.

There is something called the enamel pellicle (sort of like a protein skin on your teeth) and teeth whiteners affect stains within that pellicle.  Whitening toothpastes typically do not affect or alter a tooth’s base color, because they are not able to deeply penetrate your tooth enamel like a harsh bleaching chemical can penetrate.

However, bleaching agents can (and do) penetrate that enamel. This is normally done by hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active agents.  This is why it’s possible to injure tooth enamel or make your teeth sensitive when using chemical bleaches.  I don’t want that kind of risk, do you?

Crest Whitening Strips contain Hydrogen Peroxide gel on a polyethylene film.  They also include things like Carbopol 956, sodium saccharin, sodium acid pyrophosphate, etc.  

Do you know what those are?  Me either.

I am not a doctor or scientist, but I don’t need to be one to know that I’d rather use natural ingredients in my mouth instead – even if I’m told they are “safe” ingredients.  No thanks!

Crazy about healthful living today

For the last 20 years I’ve spent more and more of my time finding ways to live without chemical additives and preservatives in my food and in my environment.  I’ve used zeolite, coconut oil and colloidal silver for detoxing.  I often use Fasting and removed many foods from my diet that cause inflammation and discomfort.

And from all this, I’ve found much more resistance to illnesses and improved energy.

And all of this brought me to making my own toothpaste.  I made BlackMagic Toothpaste from all-natural ingredients – most of which you probably have in your kitchen right now – in order to keep my mouth as healthy as possible, and my teeth as white as I can make them.

No more harsh, unknown chemicals or bleaches in my daily toothpaste.  And it tastes great, so even your kids will love using it.

If you’re ready to try it for yourself, you can get some here.

Black Toothpaste