This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which activated charcoal toothbrush is best?

Activated charcoal can be found anywhere from smoothie shacks to emergency rooms, but it’s also found in toothpaste and toothbrushes. Its chief use is to absorb toxins related to certain drug overdoses, but in oral care, it’s claimed to boost whitening, fight plaque and lead to fresher-smelling breath.

The best activated charcoal toothbrush is the Dental Expert Charcoal Toothbrush. The bristles are soft to avoid discomfort, and it has a money-back guarantee.

What to know before you buy an activated charcoal toothbrush

Manual vs. electric

Activated charcoal toothbrushes come in both manual and electric forms, and each has its pros and cons.

  • Manual: The main benefit of a manual toothbrush is the low cost. It also takes up less space. However, even if you brush perfectly it still won’t give as good a cleaning as if you used an electric toothbrush.
  • Electric: You can use any electric toothbrush you want — you just need to find an activated charcoal brush head that fits it. The main benefit of electric toothbrushes is they almost brush your teeth for you. By following the built-in timers and alarms for when you brush too hard, you get a better, easier cleaning. However, the cost of the base unit is high and replacement heads are expensive.


Most activated charcoal toothbrushes, manual or electric, come in packs. They usually have two to five, though packages as large as 12-plus are also possible. It’s rare to find an activated charcoal toothbrush sold individually, but it does exist.

What to look for in a quality activated charcoal toothbrush


Both the head and the handle sizes need to be considered.

  • Head: The ideal brush head is small, covering no more than two teeth at a time. This makes it easier to control, easier to reach the back of your teeth without discomfort and easier to wiggle the bristles into the small spaces between your teeth.
  • Handle: The perfect handle size is one that fits comfortably in your hand. It shouldn’t feel too large or small, and especially shouldn’t feel too heavy or too light.

Tongue and cheek cleaner

The best toothbrushes, with or without activated charcoal bristles, have a tongue and cheek cleaner on the back of the head. This lets you clean every part of your mouth rather than just your teeth.

Handle material

Activated charcoal toothbrush handles and replacement heads are typically made of plastic or bamboo.

  • Plastic is most commonly used, plus replacement heads only come in plastic. It’s bad for the environment but tends to be more affordable, more comfortable to hold and comes in more colors and designs.
  • Bamboo is biodegradable and sustainable, making it far superior for the environment. However, badly made bamboo handles can have splinters. Even when made well, they can still feel a little rough.

How much you can expect to spend on an activated charcoal toothbrush

Most packs of manual brushes cost about $10 to $20, give or take a few dollars. Electric brushes can cost as much as $80-plus, with replacement heads costing $5 to $40 depending on quantity.

Activated charcoal toothbrush FAQ

Why should I use an activated charcoal toothbrush?

A. Activated charcoal toothbrushes are claimed to help naturally whiten your teeth over time, better eliminate plaque and fight odor-causing bacteria. However, there haven’t been enough studies to definitively prove — or disprove — these effects. They’re safe to try out to see if you like them or if you notice positive changes, but if you’re worried, check with your dentist before buying one.

Should I use activated charcoal toothpaste with my brush?

A. Activated charcoal toothpaste has the same claimed effects and the same lack of studies. It’s up to you if you want to double down and use both. You can also consult with your dentist before combining them.

How often should I replace my activated charcoal toothbrush?

A. That depends on the brush, how often you brush and how hard you brush. On average, replace it once every two or three months or as soon as the bristles begin to look worn down.

What’s the best activated charcoal toothbrush to buy?

Top activated charcoal toothbrush

Best Dental Expert Charcoal Toothbrushes

Dental Expert Charcoal Toothbrushes

What you need to know: These are great-quality brushes at a great price.

What you’ll love: The bristles are long and soft, so they can get into the tight crevices between your teeth without scraping away at your enamel. The handle is long but slim, so it can be comfortably used by adults and children alike. Five brushes are included.

What you should consider: A few consumers felt the bristles were too soft and didn’t clean their teeth as well as harder bristles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top activated charcoal toothbrush for the money

Best Oral-B Charcoal Toothbrushes

Oral-B Charcoal Toothbrushes

What you need to know: This small pack is a good trial run before buying larger packages.

What you’ll love: Only two brushes are included to prevent waste if you don’t like them. The handles are curved with grippy textures. The bristles are rounded on the ends and the back of the head has a tongue and cheek cleaner.

What you should consider: Customers with smaller mouths found these too large for comfort. Others found the bristles too rough, with some reporting cuts to their gums.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Bmbu Charcoal Toothbrushes

Bmbu Charcoal Toothbrushes

What you need to know: These brushes are excellent for those who want to be environmentally conscious.

What you’ll love: Every piece of these brushes, and even their packaging, is made from sustainably sourced or recycled materials. Additionally, the brushes and packaging are biodegradable. The bristles are medium-soft and the handles are ergonomically curved for comfort. Four individually packaged brushes are included.

What you should consider: The bamboo material gives these brushes a slightly woody taste some purchasers found unpleasant. If they aren’t kept in the open to air dry, they can grow mold.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.