Will charcoal help whiten my teeth?

Charcoal has impressive oral health benefits, including the ability to remove surface stains.

Tons of people swear that activated charcoal is the best natural tooth whitener. And there's a good reason for that. Charcoal is mildly abrasive, which means it could help scrub away surface stains and tartar, making your teeth appear whiter. 

Activated charcoal also has other potential benefits for your mouth. It's sorptive, which means it can bind to bacteria. As you probably know, bacteria is behind a lot of common oral health issues, including bad breath, cavities, and gum infections.  So activated charcoal could be a simple, effective way to support your oral health.

But is it safe?

Some people worry that activated charcoal may be too abrasive and cause damage to their teeth. But the truth is, a fine activated charcoal powder has a very low RDA (relative dentin abrasion) value of around 70. RDA is the metric used to test dental products in terms of damage to enamel. 

To put that RDA value in context a little more, the American Dental Association says that anything more than 250 is too abrasive for daily use. And the FDA says anything more than 200 is too abrasive for daily use. So charcoal is well within those safety limits.  In fact, charcoal is actually less abrasive than most traditional toothpastes on the market.