I’m not really someone who jumps on the bandwagon when it comes to beauty trends but activated charcoal tooth powder just happened to made my ears prick. It’s one of those things that sounds too bizarre to possibly work, which makes me think maybe it just might…
I don’t have any huge issues with my teeth, I’ve grown to love them for what they are. Despite the hours in the orthodontist chair, I still have a gap in between my top two, whilst my bottoms ones are too tight to floss, and I still have that wire stuck to the backs that I swear was meant to fall off at 21… Tonally though, teeth can always be whiter, right? I wouldn’t say my teeth are necessarily discoloured but on the spectrum, they could be whiter. I’m not invested enough to ever go and get them professionally whitened (plus, the idea of developing sensitive teeth scares the hell out of me) but I always buy whitening Colgate, and when Laila London Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder is on offer for £7.50 in Boots, sure, I’ll give that a whirl.
Activated charcoal tooth powder has come to the market as a unique alternative to toothpaste, one that vows to clean, polish and whiten teeth, remove stains, improve gum health, freshen breath and remove impurities and plaque. 100% natural, it’s a concoction of the following:
Activated Charcoal — a highly absorbent substance that removes toxins and can change the pH and health of the mouth. Also prevents cavities and kills bad bacteria
White Kaolin Clay — high in calcium, silica, zinc and magnesium, and helps to whiten and polish teeth.
Calcium Powder — to provide minerals and whiten
Cloves — antibacterial
Cinnamon — discourage bacterial growth
Ginger — fights toothache
Peppermint — soothing on the gums and freshens breath
Lemon powder — for fresh breath
Let me be clear. Just like Googling the symptoms of a headache can be unrealistic, so can reading the reviews of charcoal tooth powder. Regardless of what anyone says, let me reassure you: using charcoal tooth powder isn’t going to completely change your life. It’s not. Sorry. Bursting that bubble. I wouldn’t even say that after 2 weeks of using it consistently day and night it’s really even (noticeably) affected the shade or made them any whiter. (I should point out that I don’t have any stains or marks on my teeth so can’t comment on the affect there but reckon it might actually be pretty effective for clearing up that sort of thing.)
What it has had an impact on though is plaque. Yep, sorry to be gross but I do get narky plaque build up in between my bottom set where they’re too tight to floss. After two weeks using the charcoal powder instead of toothpaste, I have noticed that it’s completely gone. And that’s pretty impressive really, given the only other solution I’ve found are those micro brush things that make your gums bleed like crazy.
Sure, it is a slightly bizarre sensation rubbing black powder into your teeth and gums when we’ve grown up knowing white paste is the answer but you quickly get used to it. Also, there’s definitely a technique. Firstly, don’t get your brush too wet the dipping it in the powder or else it gets clumpy fast; secondly, don’t put too much on your brush; and thirdly, apply it to the outside of your teeth first rather than the inside, or else it gets lumped on your tongue, and though it really doesn’t taste bad (nice, like peppermint and cinnamon actually), swallowing a clump of it isn’t the nicest.
Anyway, that’s enough words. In short, my verdict? Whilst I haven’t noticed a massive colour change, I’d say the activated charcoal powder definitely targets plaque, reckon it would wipe out stains, and does makes your teeth feel squeaky clean. I’m still using it, and for £10 a pot from Boots (that last longer than toothpaste), I’ll probably keep doing so. I’m kind of intrigued by this whole activated charcoal trend actually so maybe there’ll be more things I try out and talk about soon…