Does Charcoal Toothpaste Remove Tartar?

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Tartar buildup can take a huge toll on our overall oral health, as it can cause gingivitis, bad breath, and cavities. You can avoid tartar buildup by being proactive in taking care of your teeth and regularly brushing using a tartar control toothpaste. But there are tons of options to choose from. Is charcoal toothpaste one of them?

Charcoal toothpaste utilizes the compound’s absorptive properties to eliminate tartar by soaking up and removing bacteria that build up on your teeth. It also uses charcoal’s abrasive components to mildly abrade superficial bacteria. Don’t use charcoal toothpaste every day, though. 

Continued accumulation of tartar could eventually lead to a host of dental problems, including the possibility of losing teeth, which is certainly something you’d like to avoid. Let’s look at how to prevent tartar buildup with charcoal toothpaste and learn some other ways to remove tartar as well.

What Is Tartar?

Active charcoal toothpaste

Tartar is essentially plaque that has accumulated and hardened on your teeth over time. Unlike the original plaque — a colorless film of bacteria that can be removed with regular brushing and flossing — tartar is a yellow-brown mineral buildup that forms at, underneath, and above the gumline and irritates gum tissues. 

Tartar on teeth gives plaque a wide and sticky surface to grow and cling to, which can cause cavities and gum diseases. Accumulation of tartar on the gum line can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissues leading to swollen and bleeding gums).

Tartar is very porous, and it absorbs stains effortlessly. So, if you’re a smoker or coffee/tea drinker, it’s even more crucial that you avert tartar buildup.

Can Charcoal Toothpaste Remove Tartar Buildup?

Charcoal toothpaste (on Amazon) can help eliminate tartar buildup using its absorptive properties to attract and remove bacteria that accumulate on the surface of teeth and affect their appearance. 

Since charcoal is mildly abrasive, it can remove sticky plaque from the surface of teeth. The abrasives gently grind away bacteria from your mouth without damaging the enamel.

Other Ways to Remove Tartar

Macro shot of young woman having dental check up in dental clinic

While proper brushing using charcoal toothpaste and flossing can help reduce plaque buildup, once tartar forms, only your dentist can remove it. Here are two ways dentists remove tartar:


The process of removing tartar is known as scaling. When scaling, the dental hygienist uses special equipment and instruments to remove tartar from the surface of your teeth, above and below the gum line.

In order to thoroughly clean the area, the hygienist needs to reach the base of the pocket (the space between the tooth and gum tissue).


Debridement is another method used to remove tartar, especially if it’s been a while since your last dental visit. Hygienists utilize an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments to remove larger, more tenacious tartar deposits.

A topical anesthetic may be used for this procedure for patient comfort, and a follow-up appointment is required to determine the need for further treatment.

Scaling and Root Planning

For this procedure, the dentist or hygienist administers local anesthetic. They also use an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments that reach deeper pockets around the tooth.

Once scaling and root planning is performed, the patient will be on a more frequent recall schedule of every 3-4 months.

How to Prevent Tartar

Here are some tips and tricks to add to your daily oral routine to prevent tartar buildup:

Use Anti-Plaque Mouthwash

Most people overlook rinsing with anti-plaque mouthwash (on Amazon) after brushing and flossing, yet it can significantly reduces plaque and prevent tartar buildup. Mouthwash kills bacteria that could lead to the development of new plaque. It also cleans and freshens your mouth.

Find a High-Quality Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush (on Amazon) can contribute to preventing plaque and tartar buildup. To ensure the brush always works optimally, change its head every three months.

If you aren’t a fan of electric toothbrushes, get a high-quality manual toothbrush. Be sure to replace it every three months or if you notice the bristles are wearing down for better effectiveness in cleaning teeth and removing plaque.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Smoking

Eating too many sugary foods and smoking can contribute to plaque buildup, which becomes tartar over time. It’s best to limit the consumption of soft drinks and foods rich in sugar like candy and cakes.

Sugar is a hotbed for bacteria, and its accumulation can present dangers to your oral health.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

The best way to prevent tartar buildup and keep your teeth in great shape is by seeing your dentist consistently. Even if your teeth seem to be doing fine, you should set dental appointments every six months so that your dentist can spot and treat any emerging problems before they get worse.

It doesn’t all come down to using charcoal toothpaste to remove tartar. Consult your dentist for an expert opinion on preventing tartar without posing greater risks to your dental health.

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