how does charcoal toothpaste work?
about the author
Connie is our founding director of R+D, which not only means she created the formulations for our products, but that she has more degrees than a thermometer. One of her degrees is an MS in food biochemistry, and she was a research scientist in Pepsi’s Product Innovation Group before deciding to focus cavity prevention and optimized oral health. When she’s not climbing, hiking, ultra-marathoning, playing guitar, or making awesome brownies with chickpea flour, she’s whipping up the most naturally friendly oral care products around.
Photo: charcoal toothpaste and black toothbrush
if you’re wondering how charcoal toothpaste does its thing, you’re not alone – and you’ve come to the right place. charcoal is a super-effective toothpaste ingredient and we’re glad to see it getting the love it deserves as of late, but many people are still understandably murky on how it manages to make teeth so squeaky clean, and how they should go about using it. luckily, we’re ready to drop some charcoal knowledge – so read on, intrepid brusher, and get ready for some mind expansion.
how it’s made
the charcoal that gets incorporated into toothpastes is different from the standard variety used for art classes and weenie roasts. the black stuff derived for toothy pursuits is more specifically known as “activated charcoal” and it’s created using a refinement process that involves extreme heating. high heat alters activated charcoal’s composition, leaving it far more porous than its standard charcoal brethren. and unlike the night before high school prom, pores are now your friends.
Photo: ingredients for professionals
activated charcoal: the chemistry of cleaning
activated charcoal’s pores are the main reason it’s so effective as a toothpaste ingredient. because of their construction and composition, these little guys are great at absorbing the types of particles that stain teeth and cause stinky breath. when brushed onto your teeth in paste form, the pores go to work grabbing bad stuff. then, when the charcoal is rinsed out of your mouth, the captured unsavory particles are rinsed out with it, leaving behind a brighter, fresher smile that you can feel confident bringing home to mom and dad.
so, let’s get into the nitty-spitty of how you should go about using charcoal toothpaste.
a friendly force of nature.all charcoal products
putting your charcoal where your mouth is
something you’ll notice upon first squeeze is that charcoal toothpaste does not look like the stuff you probably grew up brushing with. at hello, our charcoal paste is as dark as your goth phase – some (ahem) *other* companies may use coloring or less charcoal in their formula, leading to a product that appears more gray in color. regardless, we don’t want you to be afraid of the dark, but your dry cleaner will kill us if we don’t include a disclaimer: charcoal toothpaste can get messy, so please, spit responsibly. to further reduce splatter-potential and be good to your enamel, we also recommend using a soft bristle brush and not going overboard while executing on your signature brushing motion. otherwise, once you put paste to brush, simply go about your business like you normally would, rinse thoroughly, and say hi to a brighter, happier smile.
if you’re ready to try charcoal toothpaste for yourself, we’ve created a whole line of cruelty free, thoughtfully-sourced charcoal concoctions that we’d love for you to take a gander at. they’re even available in both fluoride and fluoride free varieties, because we believe in a brusher’s right to choose.
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