Charcoal Powder — Does It Really Whiten Your Teeth?

Charcoal powder is the latest craze for tooth whitening home remedies. But does it really whiten your teeth? We examined this trend to determine whether or not it does everything that all the hype claims it does. We found out that it is safe, but there are no scientific studies currently to back up the claims on teeth whitening.

What is Charcoal Powder?

Charcoal powder for oral usage is not just ground up charcoal pieces from your BBQ grill. Please don’t use those. Charcoal powder is activated charcoal, classified as medical grade or safe for human consumption. This odorless black powder has no flavor and has been used to treat various ailments throughout history.

Charcoal is treated with oxygen applied at extremely high temperatures to create activated charcoal. The initial processing reduces pore size and increases the surface area, thus changing the internal structure. It is distributed in capsules as a nutritional supplement and added to both food and non-food items such as toothpaste and ice cream.

As a supplement, the activated charcoal is not absorbed by your digestive system. The porous structure acts to attract gases and toxins in your stomach, allowing your body to expel them naturally.

Activated charcoal is currently used in medical settings as an anti-poison remedy or to treat drug overdoses. There are claims that it lowers cholesterol, improves kidney function, and assists your body in producing less flatulence. It has also been helpful for water purifying filtration.

Theoretically, for tooth whitening, activated charcoal toothpaste acts as a binder. It binds to stains, bacteria, viruses, and tartar. The binding action is thought to remove the things that cause dental decay.

Is It Safe to Use for Teeth Whitening?

Charcoal powder is considered safe for use in its activated form. Charcoal is frequently used in cases of poisoning. It may sometimes induce vomiting. There is also a risk in powder form that it may be aspirated into the lungs. Activated charcoal should only be administered to treat poisoning within a medical setting.

For tooth whitening, is it best to use activated charcoal that has already been suspended within a toothpaste. If you use it in powdered form, dampen your brush, then dip the brush into the powder. This reduces the risk of inhaling the dry powder.

Charcoal-Based Toothpaste

Charcoal-based toothpaste claims to have a whitening effect on teeth. It is slightly abrasive and might remove surface staining somewhat. There is no supporting evidence that charcoal toothpaste will impact deeper staining. It does not penetrate deep enough to work well on stains below the enamel.

There are some fundamental concerns about the continuous use of charcoal toothpaste because of its abrasive properties. It is also not recommended if you have composite resin fillings, crowns, or veneers because it can scratch the surface. The scratches will allow staining to occur that may not be reversible.

Charcoal-Based Mouthwash

When exploring the efficacy of charcoal-based mouthwashes, no scientific studies back up the claims. Supposedly, these mouthwashes will prevent halitosis (bad breath), whiten teeth, prevent periodontal disease, reduce the potential for cavities, and help restore teeth on a mineral level.

With no scientific evidence to support these claims, it might be better to stick to regular fluoride mouthwashes.

Can Charcoal Powder Be Used Forever?

No. If you choose to use charcoal powder, it should only be used short-term. It would be best if you also continued brushing with your regular toothpaste. When brushing with charcoal powder or charcoal-infused toothpaste, you should use a gentle stroke with a soft-bristled brush.


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Using a medium or stiff brush and brushing aggressively can exacerbate the powder’s abrasive action, causing more damage to your teeth. We examined the pros and cons of charcoal-based tooth products


  • May remove some surface staining on teeth.
  • It might improve bad breath.
  • It might help prevent some staining with occasional use.


  • The abrasiveness may remove tooth enamel, causing yellowing.
  • It only removes surface stains.
  • Daily use can cause teeth to become sensitive.
  • It can cause staining on crowns, veneers, composite fillings, and older teeth.
  • Most brands do not contain fluoride.

The long-term effects of charcoal-based oral care products are not known.

The Downside of Using Activated Charcoal

If you consider using charcoal powder or other charcoal-based oral care products, please discuss this with your dentist or orthodontist. It is recommended that caution be taken when using any of these products because their long-term safety has not been studied adequately.

We know that charcoal toothpaste is abrasive and should not be used daily. This can cause staining rather than reducing it or whitening teeth. It is not safe to use with dental work such as fillings, crowns, and veneers. The charcoal powder can also drift below your gum line, causing irritation and possible inflammation of the gum tissue.

The most significant downside of charcoal-based toothpaste is the lack of fluoride. We know that fluoride can be instrumental in preventing tooth decay and cavities. The advantages of using fluoride-based products are well-known and proven by years of science.

Preventing Tooth Stains

The best advice for maintaining a bright, white smile is actively preventing tooth staining. There are several things that you can do daily to keep your smile bright without resorting to every fad that pops across social media:

  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily.
  • Floss your teeth daily.
  • Cut down on foods and drinks that stain, such as coffee, red wine, and blueberry pie.
  • Use a straw with stain-causing beverages.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking items that cause staining.
  • Don’t smoke, as this can cause discoloration of your teeth, bad breath, and more.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after consuming acidic foods to reduce the impact of acids on your teeth.

There are many tooth whitening products out there. If you are interested in a brighter smile, please discuss it with Dr. Leslie Pitner before trying new products, gimmicks, or do-it-yourself remedies.

Pitner Orthodontics Cares About Your Smile

The entire staff at Pitner Orthodontics is dedicated to providing outstanding oral care for our patients. Whether you need Invisalign, clear braces, or other orthodontic care, we are eager to work with you. You can begin today by scheduling your initial consultation.

Invisalign in Newberry SC

If you need Invisalign in Newberry SC, look no further than Pitner Orthodontics. With two locations in Columbia and the third office in Chapin, Pitner offers Invisalign, affordability, and convenience. Let us show you why it is worth the drive!

Pitner Orthodontics — Invisalign in Newberry SC

Whether you live in Newberry and commute to Columbia for work, you will appreciate the Downtown Office. The only one of its kind, the Downtown office is dedicated to adults only. In fact, you likely drive right past our Chapin office frequently, too.

In the past, many patients were told that Invisalign was not right for them. Whether you have ever been given that sad news or not, we have great news for you now!


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Align Technology has been working continously to expand the efficacy of this unique, almost invisible tray alignment system. As a result of their innovative design improvements, Invisalign is able to handle almost all orthodontic problems from minor to complex.

Whether you are in for a first-time visit or to ask us for a second opinion, Pitner Orthodontics is ready to help.

South Carolina’s #1 Invisalign Provider

Dr. Leslie Pitner and Pitner Orthodontics have earned their reputation as South Carolina’s #1 Invisalign provider. Align Technology, the creators of Invisalign, use an 8-tier rating system for providers. Pitner holds a Diamond+ rating, which is in the top 1 percent of all providers.

Dr. Pitner makes it easy to get an evaluation to see if Invisalign treatment is right for you by offering a free initial consultation. This Smile Analysis includes digital x-rays and a complete examination. At a value of $249, this is only the beginning of your savings at Pitner Orthodontics.

How Invisalign Works

Beginning the Invisalign process is fairly easy. First, we make a 3D model of your teeth. The model allows Dr. Pitner to create a custom treatment plan for each patient. After your exam, we create a series of almost invisible alignment trays for you.

The trays are worn for 20 to 22 hours every day. Depending on your treatment schedule, you will switch to a new set of trays every week or two. The trays work by putting pressure against your teeth to shift them into the correct positions. As you switch through the tray sets, your teeth will gradually become straighter until they reach proper alignment.

Because Invisalign trays are removable there are no problems with oral hygiene or dietary restrictions. Patients remove the trays to eat, drink, and perform oral hygiene.

Three Locations Near Newberry

We have three locations near Newberry. The nearest office is our Chapin location on Old Bush River Rd. Our other locations are both in Columbia, one on Westcott Rd and the Downtown office on Main St. Whether you want Invisalign for yourself or are making an appointment for a child or teen, Pitner can help.

Making your first appointment is as easy as clicking on the “Book Your Free Consult” button, filling in some information, and submitting the form.

Please visit our Instagram and Facebook pages for info, fun stuff, and news.

How Much do Braces Cost in SC?

though we can offer a ballpark estimate to answer the question, “How Much do Braces Cost in SC?” we can’t give a concrete figure. Because every mouth is different, the cost of braces can vary widely from one patient to the next. The best way to get a quote is to take advantage of the free consultation offered at Pitner Orthodontics.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Braces

The cost of traditional braces can range from $3,000 to $7,000, while the cost of Invisalign braces can range from $3,500 to $8,000. Some of the things that factor into the cost differences are:

  • Length of treatment
  • Type of braces (traditional vs. Invisalign)
  • Physical location or region
  • Degree of alignment problems

Invisalign used to be much more expensive than traditional braces. With advancements in technology, the price has dropped and is now comparable. While conventional braces are still slightly cheaper, the comparative cost makes Invisalign a viable option for teens and adults.

Dr. Leslie Pitner specializes in Invisalign treatment for teens and adults. As a Diamond+ Invisalign Provider, Dr. Pitner is a top-notch orthodontist and the #1 Invisalign provider in SC. Pitner Orthodontics wants to help you get the perfect smile you have always dreamed of having.

How Much do Braces Cost in SC?

With the general pricing ranges mentioned above, you will need to decide between traditional braces and Invisalign braces. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and each will be explained more fully after your initial exam.

Different factors that will affect what you pay include insurance. Some insurance plans offer coverage for orthodontic treatment that provides for braces. The staff at Pitner Orthodontics will review your insurance coverage and assist you in filing claim forms. Our goal is to help you get the maximum benefit possible.

While it is impossible to quote an exact cost before the examination, you will have a definitive treatment plan with all cost details once your initial exam is complete. Each treatment plan is unique to each patient because your mouth is as unique as your fingerprints.

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Following your complimentary consultation (a $249 value), the staff at Pitner Orthodontics will discuss the entire proposed treatment plan. This includes cost, the type of braces (Invisalign vs. traditional), insurance options, and what types of payment plans are available for you.

Our goal is to make sure that your orthodontic treatment stays within your budget. In addition to financing and insurance options, Pitner Orthodontics accepts payment via cash, check, debit card, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Set Up Your Appointment Today

At Pitner Orthodontics, our goal is to help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile while keeping the cost as painless as possible. There are several ways to contact Pitner Orthodontics to set up your complimentary consultation. It is easy to start with the online contact form, fill in the requested information, and submit it.

We have three office locations, with our downtown office dedicated to adults only:

Pitner Orthodontics: Columbia Office
5953 Wescott Rd.
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: (803) 408-7372

Chapin Office
814 Old Bush River Rd.
Chapin, SC 29036
Phone: (803) 345-6767

Pitner Downtown: Orthodontics for Adults
1201 Main St., Suite 900
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 667-3909

Visit our blog to learn more about orthodontic treatment.

You can also find us on social media on Facebook and Instagram.