What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal (a very refined version of charcoal, or almost carbon) can be made from wood pulp, coal, lignite and rye starch . It is very porous which means it is great for absorption. The ultra fine powder or paste virtually transforms into a liquid to remove stubborn stains and gives teeth a super-clean feel.
How does activated charcoal work?
Charcoal is one of the original multi-tasking ingredients from natural origin, with a long and varied history of medicinal and practical uses. It's been used to refine and whiten sugar, given to patients to soak up ingested poisons, filter water, and it's also recognised as a tooth-whitening product.
Bentonite Clay found in some teeth-whitening products is said to have a negative charge that magnetically neutralises positively charged bacteria, giving teeth a great clean as well as whitening process . Some products mix charcoal with Coconut Oil to create a paste so you'll get the benefit of oil swishing and pulling too.
How to use activated charcoal to clean teeth
For an best results, use an activated charcoal toothbrush into the powder or paste and carefully put into your mouth. Brush teeth gently with your mouth closed for two minutes. Spit out and rinse. Some products are recommended to use in the morning or evening for best results, so consult the instructions.
Do dentists recommend using activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal has been endorsed by dentists for its use in oral health. A prominent American dentist, Dr Griffin Cole, DDS. has praised the My Magic Mud Tooth Powder: "I've used all kinds of different toothpastes, herbals, naturals, everything, mouth rinses, nothing is this effective."  He has also highly recommended the Toothpaste: "The absorption action of charcoal coupled with the antiseptic properties of tea tree oil make this paste extremely effective at plaque control and bacterial elimination." 
Dr Brite was created by two sisters, one of whom is a dentist with over twenty years of dental practice. She was discouraged after realising she had been recommending whitening products with potentially harmful chemicals. To solve the problem, the sisters created Dr Brite which focus on organic and safe whitening products. These products feature white activated charcoal; if it's good enough for the creators of Dr Brite, it's good enough for me!
The best activated charcoal products for cleaning and whitening teeth
My Magic Mud Whitening Tooth Powder and Toothpaste
My Magic Mud offers a Whitening Toothpaste which can be used daily, just like any other toothpaste. It even has a classic Peppermint flavour this is a fantastic introduction to natural toothpastes. For an additional whitening effect, I love to use the Whitening Tooth Powder. The combination of Activated Coconut Shell Charcoal, Calcium Bentonite Clay, Orange Peel Extract and Mint Extract help to gently whiten, clean and polish the teeth.
Pollen Botanicals Zoom Teeth Whitener
The Pollen Botanicals Zoom Teeth Whitener is a powder-free tooth whitener which contains Bentonite, Charcoal and Coconut Oil, which get deep between your teeth. Thanks to the Coconut Oil, once you've brushed your teeth, you can also swish and pull this formula through your teeth to get added oil-pulling deep clean benefits. As this formula isn't a whitening powder, it doesn't make a huge mess on your sink or vanity!
Warpaint Natural Teeth Whitener
This pitch black, super fine, food safe powder helps visibly whiten and remineralise teeth, according to Warpaint. It's got Activated Coconut Shell Charcoal, Australian (edible) Calcium Bentonite Clay and Peppermint, and can be mixed to make a toothpaste, which is easier for children to use.
Dr Brite Whitening Mineral Toothpaste and Cleansing Mouth Rinse
The Dr Brite range of whitening products use White Activated Charcoal, which is great if you don't like the mess that regular charcoal products can make! Add the Dr Brite Cleansing Mouth Rinse to your usual tooth brushing routine – it aims to freshen breath, brighten teeth, reduce plaque and generally detox and revitalise your mouth. Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Aloe Vera Juice and Spearmint Essential Oil work to clean and refresh teeth and mouth too.
 As cited on Western Journal of Medicine.  Supplied by Zoom. ,  My Magic Mud. Always read the label, use only as directed.