ADA Spokesperson: No Evidence Charcoal Teeth Whitening Method Is Effective.

The Daily Beast (4/6, Yu) states that although activated charcoal is traditionally found in air filters, and “hospitals and poison control centers use it to treat accidental poisoning or a drug overdose,” some bloggers and vloggers are touting the benefits of using the powdery black substance to whiten teeth. Given this, the Daily Beast spoke with dental professionals, including American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Kim Harms, to determine whether using activated charcoal is safe and effective. “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth,” Dr. Harms said, adding that it is unclear whether using activated charcoal is safe, and the concern with using abrasives to brush teeth is the effect they can have on gums and enamel. Noting that activated charcoal also does not deliver fluoride, Dr. Harms said that “there are better options out there that do work,” recommending people consult with a dentist about teeth whitening options.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.