Product Review: Monkey Brand Black Tooth Powder

Monkey Black Tooth Powder is a staple of ayurvedic dental hygiene.
Monkey Black Tooth Powder is a staple of ayurvedic dental hygiene.

I admit that I was fascinated by the minimal marketing.

Monkey Brand Black Tooth Powder is a product from India that’s been keeping those Bollywood smiles sparkling for 100 years.

Dental care is a HUGE issue for po’ folks, in fact it is one of the biggest divides between the lifestyles of the rich and famous vs the lifestyles of the poor and obscure. Low-paying jobs don’t offer a dental plan (nor do many middle-class jobs these days) and dentistry can be expensive to pay for out-of-pocket. Besides prioritizing a tooth cleaning and X-ray every few years, if the recommended annual is out of reach, po’ folks really benefit from stepping up the self-care with lots of brushing and flossing.

Folks in India have a different approach to brushing teeth – they use a mildly abrasive powder and use their finger instead of a toothbrush. This is great for the environment – 50 million pounds of toothbrushes  and a billion squeezed-out toothpaste tubes are tossed into America’’s landfills each year. And some of the ingredients in commercial toothpaste are poison.

I will admit right now that I have no mastery of the finger tooth brushing technique and am still using a conventional brush. I’m pleased to say that strides are being made towards recyclable toothbrushes.

Monkey Brand Black Tooth Powder is made from charcoal and ayurvedic herbal oils.  It is not minty; in fact it tastes kind of like Ben-Gay. At $13 for 200 grams, it is more expensive than the dollar store, but for po’ folks with more disposable income, it compares favorably in the price range with other dental products. Po’ folks who live near Indian markets might be able to get a better deal.

The Lieutenant of Barad-dûr, aka the Mouth of Sauron, will have a gorgeous Bollywood smile once he rinses and cleans up the sink.

Before using it, locate a sponge and lock the bathroom door. This is essential. While using this product you will resemble the creature that guards the black gate at Mordor and it is a look that cannot be unseen.  Use with caution!

The biggest drawback to this product is the mess.  Lean well over the sink and avoid spattering it on your skin, walls, floor and clothes. It rinses off easily, but it requires some work.

Beautiful smiles and environmentally-friendly products.
Beautiful smiles and environmentally-friendly products.

The taste is different. I’ve never been a fan of artificially-flavored minty toothpaste, so I don’t mind the analgesic rub taste. Some people might. You get used to it pretty quickly.

Once you rinse out the last of the charcoal powder, you’ll feel like your teeth have never been this clean. Or white.  It makes your gums feel great too.

This isn’t an ideal product for everyone, but it is a very effective tool for good dental hygiene.

Each gram contains:

Ingredient: Purpose: Quantity:
1.Haritaki/Ink Nut/Chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) fruits astringent (for sore mouth and ulcerated gums), anti-inflammatory 50.00 mg
2. Saurashtri/Alum; astringent, controls bleeding 46. 41 mg
3. Ajwana/Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) treats digestive disorders, gastro-intestinal problems, ulcer 4.81 mg
4. Kapoor/Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) antiseptic, local analgesic 12.03 mg
5. Sangjira/White Cumin   249.45 mg
6. Lavanga/Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum) floral buds analgesic, prevents tooth decay 5.44 mg
7. Pudina/SpearMint Flowers (Mentha piperita/Mentha spicata) anti-fungal, anti-bacterial; used in Vics cough drops 2.53 mg
8. Nilgiri Oil/Peppermint Oil;   58.86 mg
9. Wood Charcoal   509.8 mg
10. Excipients inactive filler ingredient .8 mg


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