Lifestyle habits can cause stains to build up up on the outside of the teeth and make them look darker than they once were.
This product may make your teeth appear whiter, by removing surface stains.
It will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching can.
Do have a read over our best charcoal toothpaste article, before buying deciding on a charcoal paste, it includes lots of valuable insights.
- It can potentially improve the colour of your teeth by removing stains
- Works to fight bad breath
- Looks to control plaque and tartar
- Feels like it cleans well
- Ease of use
- Flip lid
- Everyone will get different results
- Unable to confirm if any better than a regular toothpaste
Does it actually work?
We understand you want whiter teeth, but this might not be the right product for you.
Tooth whitening is a complex process and every person’s circumstances and results are different (although the adverts and claims from many manufacturers don’t make this clear).
This product may work to remove surface stains from your teeth, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching will.
Teeth whitening – a quick explainer
There is a general misunderstanding of how whitening products work, which is why we’ve covered the topic in detail.
Some products, such as the one being reviewed here, remove stains. This is not the same as professional bleaching carried out by a dentist, and this is where much of the confusion stems from.
Before choosing a product or procedure, it’s important to understand the basics. This small investment of time will save you money and improve your oral health.
Whether opting for a stain removal product or professional bleaching, there are cost-effective options available, which we cover throughout our content.
We encourage you to learn more about teeth whitening, and the following articles (created by our in-house dentist) are a great place to start:
If you’re interested in whitening, our overall advice is to visit the dentist before using a whitening product, but you can find a more detailed explanation of this by reading the links shared above.
We’ve also created this short video, which further explains how stain removal products may not work the way you think:
Before & after results
Everyone’s teeth are different.
Our lifestyles, genetics and medical conditions all have an influence on our teeth.
Some people have heavily stained teeth, whilst others do not.
Janina ultra white charcoal toothpaste works by removing surface stains and may make your teeth appear whiter, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth.
The results you achieve by using Janaina toothpaste will be different to me.
I have tried many different products and have little to no staining on my teeth.
Because of these circumstances, it would therefore be inaccurate to show before and after images to suggest what results you might get, because simply put, your before and after results may be very different.
However, to give you an idea, visit our teeth whitening before and after page, and you can see the kind of results you can expect from a stain removal product such as this, and the results you can expect from professional bleaching.
A 75ml tube costs somewhere between £8-14 depending on where you purchase it. The manufacturers recommended retail price (RRP) is £11.50.
Where To Buy
The primary outlet for Janina toothpaste products is Boots pharmacy, be that the high street stores or their online shop. It is also available from Amazon and other specialist online retailers like fragrancedirect.co.uk.
|Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste||53 Reviews||£10.55 £9.98||View on Amazon|
Taste, Packaging etc
You have more than likely seen the shop shelves, there appear to be hundreds of different toothpastes you can opt for.
A large proportion of which are labelled ‘whitening’.
Society seems to suggest that white teeth are normal, so many of us will choose a whitening toothpaste, in the aim of getting that fabulous white smile.
Janina is a brand that focuses on producing nothing other than tooth whitening products. Their latest product is Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal (view on Amazon).
What it does (according to Janina):
- Effectively whitens teeth aided by a unique enzymatic patented complex
- Helps remove stains, purify breath
- Helps reduce sensitivity
- Helps prevent decay
- Controls plaque
- Controls tartar
- Contains optimum fluoride levels
Ideal for (according to Janina):
- Those who desire to whiten teeth without the use of harsh abrasives
- Those who desire healthier gums and teeth
- Those with surface staining i.e. tea, coffee, nicotine, red wine
- Adults with erosion and uncontrolled caries
All sounds great.
I put it to the test.
The special ingredient here is charcoal.
Activated charcoal is a product that has recently found its way into toothpastes because of the properties that is has, that make it great at absorbing bacteria and toxins.
It has for a long time been used in medicines, particularly for poisoning, but going further back in Asian culture for a whole host of different remedies.
The structure of activated carbon means that when used it absorbs, collects and bonds together microscopic bacteria and particles to cleanse the mouth.
However, more recently the beauty blogs and media have been publicising how it can be used to whiten the teeth.
Its ability to absorb means it can help reduce teeth staining as well as reduce bad breath and bacteria build up.
The whitening properties have perhaps been exaggerated a little, but as a natural ingredient, it is winning many over.
A quick word on whitening with a toothpaste though.
The majority of pastes contain no bleaches or peroxides, so they can’t change the natural colour of the tooth.
At best they are removing the external staining and discolouration to the teeth and in turn revealing the natural tooth colour that has been hidden as a result of diet and lifestyle choices. Whilst the teeth may then appear whiter, the natural colour of the tooth has not actually altered.
Everyone’s teeth are different and as such some will and others won’t have staining. No matter which toothpaste or how much of it you use, the results for one person will be different from another.
Dental professionals will normally advise against using charcoal, primarily because the long term safety and damage to the teeth is unknown as there is a lack of study.
Toothpaste brands will suggest it is safe, but in all reality, there is a lack of supporting evidence from them too.
I look at the pros and cons of charcoal here, but the summary is to weigh up the pros and cons yourself and proceed only if you are happy.
Abrasivity is one of the biggest concerns and sadly, the abrasivity of this paste is not known.
Charcoal free whitening pastes that have been tested could well be equally as damaging to the teeth, but because they have been tested, at least we know this.
Compared to a powder which is the form in which charcoal usually comes, a paste is in my opinion more pleasurable to use. It is not as organic, with lots of added ingredients, but the taste is normally minty fresh and not dusty and earthy like the powder.
Sure you can get used to it, but it’s not the most pleasant taste.
It also is a lot less messy. It is quite easy to create a mess with the powder.
Whilst the product name and the product features do suggest whitening it is refreshing to see the emphasis being put on on other benefits of using charcoal in a toothpaste.
Its ability to collect microscopic bacteria particles can help freshen the breath.
However to my knowledge charcoal cannot distinguish, so whilst it absorbs plaque it can also be absorbing good bacteria that exists also.
The 75ml tube stands upright on its lid, which is useful and helps the paste slide to the bottom of the tube.
It has a flip lid, hurrah! This makes it easier for one handed use of the tube in my opinion.
Arriving sealed, once you remove the small foil cap that goes over the top of the tube you need to use the paste within 12 months. However, if used twice daily, this tube will likely last around 3 months.
The paste is grey in colour and is probably not the most appealing toothpaste you have ever seen, but it smells and tastes minty fresh, one of the nicer charcoal ones I have used. There is a pleasant aftertaste.
You can see flecks of charcoal on your teeth when applied and there is a very slight grit to the paste before it is all brushed in.
Janina’s directions are to brush twice, preferably more times a day for more than 3 minutes.
Whilst I understand the logic behind these instructions I have chose only to brush for up to 3 minutes twice a day.
Naturally the more frequently you brush and the longer you brush the more chance you have of seeing benefits.
However, you could do this with a regular toothpaste and may see extra benefits too.
There is also though the consideration that brushing too much can be bad for your teeth and gums.
Most dentists would agree that brushing more than 3 times a day is not necessary.
As a result, I am not a fan of this tactic as I believe the intention here is to achieve enhanced results from more focused brushing rather than encouraging longer term better oral care health practices.
Using more regularly will mean replacing a tube of this paste more frequently too, and it is not the cheapest.
I noticed no side effects when using this paste. However, with any toothpaste, should you see or experience sensitivity, bleeding or blistering and this does not subside within a couple of days, stop using and consult your dentist.
I do think psychologically the grey paste can trick your mind into believing your teeth are whiter as they look white compared to the grey tone that was there previously during the brushing. I do not believe this to be intentional necessarily, but it is natural to think this, I know I have caught myself feeling this way.
There is some truth too I think in you brush better if you are using an expensive toothpaste.
If normally you buy a regular (but very acceptable) tube of toothpaste for £2 but invest in this tube at £11.50 that is over 5 times the price you would normally pay. As a result, you want and expect it to have positive results. Therefore when brushing you pay more attention, apply the right technique and brush for longer to help it work.
Should you give this added attention with a regular paste, would you notice an improvement?!
At anywhere between £8-£14 for a 75ml tube, this paste is not cheap, but with an RRP of £11.50 is sort of on par, if not slightly higher than most whitening toothpaste. If you brush 3 or more times a day with this paste it could get expensive.
The ingredients in Janina Ultra White Activated Whitening Toothpaste are:
Aqua, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Sodium Citrate, menthe Arvensis Leaf Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Monoflourophosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Zinc Chloride, Citric Acid, Charcoal Powder, Sodium Saccharin, Bromelain, Sodium Bicarbonate, Maltodextrin, Urea Peroxide, Sodium Persulfate, Methylparaben, Limonene, Papain, CI 77891
A lot of big words and names of ingredients you might not be familiar with.
Sodium Lauryl Suphate and CI 88891, better known as Titanium Dioxide are not ingredients all will be happy to see. These have potentially been linked with negative health issues and impacts on the environment. However, conclusive evidence is lacking.
The all-important fluoride you hear dental professionals speak of is present here.
If you wish to get more familiar with some of these, you can learn more in our toothpaste ingredients post.
I am not here to say that this paste is or is not safe.
I have no major concerns over someone using this paste to brush their teeth with on a fairly regular basis. However, not knowing the abrasivity of this paste in particular, but knowing that charcoal can be more abrasive, you may want to limit use to a couple of weeks at a time before moving back to a more gentle toothpaste.
SLS and Titanium Dioxide might not be ideal for all, but they do a job and are common amongst other toothpaste.
Fluoride is included and this can help protect the teeth and gums.
Is it eco-friendly?
We are all likely guilty of at some point of having gotten rid of something in the rubbish when in reality it was still usable.
Toothpaste can be an example of a product some don’t like and choose not to continue with.
Taste, texture and results achieved are just some of the reasons people give.
Not only can this be a waste of your money, but it can also be more impactful on the environment.
By reading this review you are limiting the chance of you having to do this as you will know what to expect from the taste and texture and possible results.
Once you have finished the tube, see if you can recycle it locally rather than putting it in the bin.
If you don’t get on with the paste, maybe a friend or family member could make use of it instead.
Other whitening products from Janina
Janina are a brand focused on teeth whitening products.
They have a number of different toothpastes.
Whilst I have not gone hands on with them all like I have the activated charcoal paste being reviewed here, it is worth noting that none will actually change the natural colour of your teeth.
All their whitening products can lift stains and discolouration that may exist on the external surface of the teeth as a result of diet, lifestyle and poor tooth brushing approaches.
The lifting of the stains may make your teeth appear whiter, but the baseline colour of the tooth has not changed.
The name of some of their other products include:
- Ultra white sensitive
- Ultra white 24k gold
- Ultra white extra strength
- Ultra white charcoal & clay powder
- Ultra white maxiwhite super strength
- Ultra white instant white teeth whitening spray
- Ultra white maxiwhite professional teeth whitening trays
What we would like to see improved
Janina is in part as guilty as any other manufacturer of whitening toothpaste for doing less than they could to educate consumers like you and me.
Many do not understand teeth whitening and that a toothpaste, unless it contains a bleach is only actually removing surface staining and discolouration, which theoretically any paste can do.
It would be great to see more transparency and explain that many will see no colour improvement in their teeth.
What Janina do well is not to promote just the ‘whitening’ (stain removal) properties of charcoal and do call out some other benefits which is commendable as some other brands are not as good at this.
Ratings / Conclusion
As we’ve mentioned in the results section, it’s difficult for us (or anybody else) to systematically test numerous whitening products.
For this reason, we have chosen to omit star ratings.
However, below you can find a summary of our closing thoughts.
I do not think Janina’s charcoal toothpaste (view on Amazon) is the best paste you could use to clean and whiten your teeth.
It tastes minty fresh and is clearly not as abrasive as a regular activated charcoal powder.
If you have particularly stained teeth, from tannins that are found in tea, coffee, red wine etc, then brushing with Janina may well make the difference.
However, I think the suggested technique of brushing 3 times a day for more than 3 minutes is one that goes against general dental advice and does not encourage good standard for long term oral health.
If you brush longer and more frequently with any paste you likely get enhancements, although data does show these are reduced the longer you brush for.
What I do like it the fact that charcoal is not used just for its whitening abilities, the benefits of fresh breath are also explained in the marketing of Janina.
Charcoals primary appealing feature is its porous nature and the ability to help clean. I think alternative products like Colgate’s Deep Clean Charcoal paste acknowledge this better and will offer similar results at a lesser price, or you could just stick with a regular toothpaste.
|Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste||53 Reviews||£10.55 £9.98||View on Amazon|
- Where can I buy Janina Ultra White Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste toothpaste?
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is a distinct mint flavour.
- How much should I use?
- A pea sized amount, like a regular toothpaste.
- How long should I brush for?
- There is Janina’s suggested more than 3 minutes preferable more than 2 times a day or there is the more common 2 minutes twice a day, which is the approach I took.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side effects from using this. Should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
- How long does it last?
- A tube like this should last about 3 month’s, less if used more frequently.
Do you own or have you used the Janina ultra white charcoal toothpaste?
Are there certain things that you really like or dislike?
Let me and other readers of this article know what you think, by commenting below. Your feedback and opinions are incredibly valuable.