Activated charcoal is everywhere you look these days; it’s in our face masks, shampoo, and even our lattes. As the ashy black substance makes big promises when it comes to detoxifying our skin and hair, it was really only a matter of time before the magnetic power of charcoal made its way into another beauty staple — our toothpaste. Yes, we know it sounds crazy odd, but the dark wonder may help you get the pearly whites you’re after. Let’s brush up on the details.

As an ingredient in toothpaste, activated charcoal (the fine powder made from bone char and other materials that is then activated at high temperatures) may help whiten your teeth by cleaning and removing surface stains. According to Dr. Steven Lin, author of The Dental Diet, activated charcoal can be effective at absorbing plaque and other compounds that typically stain teeth. (Photo via Getty)

One note of caution, though. The American Dental Association hasn’t approved any activated charcoal products for use in dentistry as of yet. Take care when using charcoal as a teeth whitener, and always ask your dentist first. If you get the thumbs up to try it, here are a few brands that are getting in early on the trend.

1. Oralgen NuPearl Activated Charcoal Toothpaste ($13): This all-natural option features charcoal to capture impurities, whiten teeth, and give you minty fresh breath. This one’s also made from organic coconut oil and is free of fluoride, sulfates, gluten, and GMOs.

2. Brittanie’s Thyme Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder ($15): To use this activated charcoal powder, dip a wet toothbrush into the powder, brush your teeth as normal, and rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water. The powder balances the pH of your mouth and helps freshen your breath in the process.

3. Hello Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste ($5): This formula features fresh mint, coconut oil, and activated charcoal (made from sustainable bamboo, no less) to gently brighten teeth without the use of peroxide.

4. Natural Whitening Activated Charcoal Toothpaste ($18 for 2): Turn to this natural beauty buy for natural stain removal minus additives like bleach. Look for improved gum health and more striking teeth with this organic option.

Have you tried activated charcoal on your teeth or elsewhere? Let us know over @BritandCo.

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