Are Activated Charcoal Toothpastes and Powders Safe?

Laura Richards
4 min readFeb 1, 2018

By Laura Richards

Mom of four and creator of My Magic Mud, the first activated charcoal oral care products on the market, has dominated the industry, rivaling places like Tom’s of Maine and entering big-box stores. But the big question people want to know is whether activated charcoal is safe?

Jessica Arman (middle) founder and CEO and her husband Justin, president (holding baby) and the My Magic Mud Team.

Activated charcoal is one of the hottest health and beauty trends right now. It’s in face wash, masks, shampoo, toothpaste, and even froyo! But is it safe for teeth and are there true benefits? Yes, and YES! It all comes down a few essential things.

From Farmer’s Market to Global Company Player

Jessica Arman wanted something healthier for herself and her kids when it came to oral health. Before she became a mom, she didn’t notice what was in the products she used on her face or put in her mouth, but once she had her first child, she grew especially concerned about the ingredients in typical toothpastes. Arman’s daughter had very sensitive teeth and couldn’t use mainstream toothpastes which prompted her to create My Magic Mud.

An idea was born and a formula created. She began selling her activated charcoal toothpastes and powders at a local farmer’s market in New Braunfels, Texas. People clamored to buy the products because they cleaned just like a professional cleaning at the dentist and whitened their teeth almost immediately. Arman is now in command of a global business aimed at health, wellness and rivaling the big guys in the industry.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe?

Still, there are concerns and misconceptions about the use of activated charcoal. Arman is frequently asked, “Is activated charcoal really safe?” If done right and rigorously lab-tested “yes” she says. Arman shares, “One common misconception I’ve heard multiple times directly from consumers is that any charcoal powder will do the trick. For example, people buy activated charcoal capsules ‘because it’s cheaper’ they say and break them open to use on their toothbrush. The problem is, the charcoal in those capsules is not meant to brush your teeth with and most likely, it has not been lab tested to ensure a safe abrasivity level for tooth enamel. My Magic Mud is lab tested and is within acceptable standards for abrasivity as defined by the American Dental Association (ADA).”

Some activated charcoal is indeed, too abrasive to use on teeth, while others, depending upon how it’s processed, are safe — it depends on the particle size and overall formulation within the oral care products themselves.

My Magic Mud has performed RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasion) and REA (Relative Enamel Abrasion) studies on its activated charcoal oral care line which are within the ADA standards for safety. As of this writing, these are tests that no other activated charcoal brands have performed and are crucial in determining safety.

My Magic Mud Whitening Tooth Powder with Activated Charcoal

Dentists all over the US have recommended My Magic Mud products to their patients who are looking for alternatives to conventional treatments. Jessica Arman’s husband, Justin, and president of My Magic Mud shares, “We have great respect for dentists who offer these alternatives because some people can really benefit from avoiding harsh chemical treatments. The more conventional treatments work, but they can take a toll on your health and be a drain on your pocketbook. Dentists cannot deny the intense sensitivity and pain that follows traditional whitening treatments.”

The Benefits of Activated Charcoal

The benefits of activated charcoal have been noted for ages. Activated charcoal removes plaque, toxins that cause bad breath, and tooth stains through a process called adsorption where these unwanted elements adhere to the porous surface of the charcoal. A single gram of activated charcoal has over 32,000 sq. ft. of surface area which is the size of seven basketball courts, so that’s a lot of power! It also whitens and polishes teeth effectively.

Everyone must make an informed decision but for many, the use of a charcoal toothpaste like My Magic Mud has been a life changer.

To visit My Magic Mud’s website, pleaes click HERE



Laura Richards

Bylines at The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe Magazine and more. Portfolio: