How effective are activated charcoal teeth whitening products?

The Story Behind the Trend

This recent trend of using activated charcoal toothpaste and other dental products for teeth whitening is all over social media.

What is Activated Charcoal?

This is a fine-grained powder that is a form of carbon, made by treating it under extreme heat. The surface of its particles becomes porous.

Why has it Become So Popular?

A lot of people swear by the ability of activated charcoal to eliminate tooth stains, whitening of teeth, and freshening of breath. Even celebrities are seen endorsing charcoal-infused dental products, lending to its increasing popularity.

What is it made of?

Typically, it’s made from wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances. Many charcoal toothpaste brands don’t have fluoride that helps keep the enamel strong.

Are Activated Charcoal Oral Care Products Effective?

What are the Claims?

The dental products containing activated charcoal claim to be a healthy alternative to whitening teeth. However, there is no scientific evidence to back the benefits of such products to the teeth.

The Truth

Activated charcoal dental products only remove the surface (extrinsic) stains on your teeth. These include stains caused by coffee, tea, tobacco, wine, and dark-colored foods and drinks.


The deeper, intrinsic stains within the tooth don’t get removed by activated charcoal-containing products. These could be stains resulting from trauma, weak enamel, or certain medications.

Additionally, everyday use of charcoal products has an abrasive effect on your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Apart from increasing teeth sensitivity, this also makes your teeth appear more yellow.

Best Way to Safely Whiten Your Teeth

A good and safe alternative to activated charcoal products is using a professional at-home whitening kit. With Torbram Dental’s home whitening kit ‘Opalescence’, you’ll have a bright, white smile as quickly as possible. This would give the appearance of any similar treatment in cosmetic dentistry.

Opalescence is available in a variety of carbamide peroxide concentrations (15-35%), with potassium nitrate and fluoride for whitening even the most difficult stains.


By following these steps, you can ensure maximum benefit from Opalescence:

1. Start with clean teeth; brush and floss before applying the whitening trays.

2. Dispense a small drop of whitening product on the whitening trays in each tooth’s space. Try and avoid getting the gel on the gums; if it does, wipe away the excess product using a cotton swab for minimizing irritation of the gums.

3. The whitening process takes about 10-14 days. Once the initial process has been completed, the patient can do touch-ups safely once every six months.


For best results, Opalescence tooth whitening systems are to be worn overnight. However, if you aren’t comfortable with overnight use, they could also be worn 2-4 hours twice a day.

The left-over product should be stored in a cool, dry place and may be used for touch-ups once every six months.

Side Effects

Commonly associated with tooth whitening is the side effect of sensitivity. While all patients might not experience this, if you do, it would be best to minimize the use of the whitening trays. For the sensitivity to subside, using Sensodyne F toothpaste or a home fluoride rinse in the homecare routine will benefit.

During the tooth whitening process, it’s suggested to minimize the consumption of dark-colored foods and drinks. These could re-stain the teeth during and after the whitening process.

It would be wise to consult with your dentist before you use any teeth whitening or oral care products, as they’ll be able to suggest what’ll work based on your teeth’s conditions.

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Simrit has been working at Torbram Dental since 2001. She started her career with Assisting/Treatment co-ordinating and then moved on to becoming the Hygiene Co Ordinator in 2005. In 2012 she took on a new role as the Marketing Director. Though she loved being the Marketing Director, in 2015 she became the Office Manager of Torbram Dental. She completed her Level 1 Dental Assisting program with Career Canada in 1996 and then went on to complete her Level II Dental Assisting Diploma with Southwestern Medix in 1999. That is when she received NDAEB Certification. Simrit has been and still is an active member of the Ontario Dental Assistants Association since 2000. She enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband and two kids and loves to explore new restaurants, especially high-tea venues.

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Jessica, one of our receptionists, is one of the smiling faces you see when you arrive at the office. She graduated with honours from Medix College with a diploma as a Level 2 Dental Assistant. When she is not happily helping our patients, Jessica enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, going to church on Sunday mornings, gardening and going on hikes.

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Naudia has been working at Torbram Dental for many years and is a valued member of our administrative team: as a dental receptionist and in our marketing team . She graduated from Everest College with honours level 1 and 2, with a diploma in Dental Assisting. Naudia is always there for our patients, making sure that they receive the care and attention they deserve. When not at the office, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking and indulging in civil court TV shows.

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Ramandeep has been a part of Torbram Dental for the past 10 years as certified dental assistant. She obtained her level 1 certification from Everest college in Brampton in 2013, and then her level 2 certification in 2014 from Medix college. Her career path through the clinic has been recognized by staff at all levels who admire her work ethic and dedication to million dollar smiles. In her spare time, Ramandeep enjoys cooking and gardening, and spending time with her husband and 2 kids.

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Sana is a valued member of our dental hygiene team. In 2008 she completed her education at George Brown in Dental Assisting and in 2016 she earned her diploma in Dental Hygiene from the Canadian Academy of Dental Health and Sciences. Sana has been working in dentistry since 2008 and enjoys taking care of our patients and helping them with their oral health. She is married and is busy with her 2 young children. In her spare time, Sana enjoys going out with the family, trying out new places to eat and is looking forward to travelling with them in the future.

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Sanaria has been working at Torbram Dental for many years as a valued member of our Dental Assisting Team. She completed her level 2 dental assisting certification and previously obtained a degree in Education and worked as a quality control officer in the pharmaceutical industry. When not at work Sanaria loves to bake and cook. She also loves story time and enjoying the outdoors with her children. She always sees the positive side of life, believes that nothing is impossible and that if you set a goal and work at it, that you will make your dreams come true.

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Carrie has been working at Torbram Dental since 2001. She graduated from George Brown College in 1998 with a Dental Assistant Diploma and continued to further her education by completing a Dental Hygiene Diploma in 2001 at Durham College. Carrie is a highly trained and experienced Registered Dental Hygienist who continues to learn and grow by updating her knowledge to provide her clients with the best Oral Health Care techniques and information. Carrie is passionate about Dentistry and is known for her gentle and compassionate manner. She feels strongly about building lasting relationships and trust with her clients to help them understand that good Oral Health leads to good Overall Health. Carrie enjoys travelling, dabbling in decorating and a good Netflix series in her time off. Carrie resides in Halton Hills with her husband and two children.

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Daniela's interest in Dentistry began in Gr.6 when she wrote a speech entitled "My Life as a Toothbrush".
A Registered Dental Hygienist with 22 years of clinical experience, Daniela still has a great passion for her career. The most rewarding aspect for her is building lasting relationships with her patients, and seeing them through to a healthier smile.
Her thorough yet gentle touch will ensure a comfortable visit every time.
Daniela is a total Foodie and loves to cook and enjoys all types of cuisines. She loves Florida, Cruises, organizing things, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

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Stephanie Enjoys getting to know all new patients at Torbram Dental and catching up with long standing Patients. Stephanie enjoys spending quality time with her family. One of her favorite things to do with her daughter is teach and play the piano. Stephanie likes going on walks with her husband and enjoys spending as much time with him as he is an Active Member of the Canadian Army. On Sundays, Stephanie enjoys going to Church and looks forward to Sunday Dinner with her entire family. Stephanie's Favorite thing to do to start her day right is head to her local Starbucks and Grab her favorite drink, an iced black tea with light lemonade on warm days and a blonde vanilla latte on those cold winter days.

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As a dedicated Dental Hygienist at Torbram Dental, Aalisha brings recent knowledge and experience to ensure the best oral health for our patients. She holds a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from the Toronto College of Dental Hygiene and Auxiliaries and has further enriched her education with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo. Beyond her professional qualifications, Aalisha has a zest for life that extends beyond the dental chair. She cherishes quality time with family and friends, thrives on outdoor adventures, and has a passion for hiking and water-based activities, especially during the sunny summer days. She is an avid traveler, exploring tropical paradises and historic destinations while immersing herself in diverse cultures and indulging in delicious culinary experiences."

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Supreet was born and raised in Punjab, India and came to Canada in 2016. She graduated from Sheridan College as an Environmental Lab Technician but later decided to change her career to dentistry. She completed her Level I and II Intra-Oral Dental Assisting course from George Brown College and graduated in 2023. In July 2023, Supreet joined the team at Torbram Dental where she enjoys working. In her free time, she loves to read books.

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