You put it in your mouth morning and night, you might even swallow it… but what's in that toothpaste of yours?
Did you know that some toothpastes are full of SLS, Titanium Dioxide, Saccharin and other ingredients that have mostly be taken out of skincare and food industries? While some dental giants are stuck with their old recipes there are new trendy brands popping up with their charcoal toothpaste to whiten teeth - which dentists have already proven to be detrimentally bad for our teeth when used regularly. It’s a little bit ironic, don’t you think! We understand there is a lot of conflicting info out there so we intend to set the it straight for your pearly whites and luscious gums.
Baking Soda: Not as Abrasive as you think!
According to Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, (which measures the hardness of all minerals on a spectrum from 1 - 10) Tooth Enamel has a hardness rating of 5, and Baking Soda has a hardness rating of 2.5. For context, Diamonds have a rating of 10. Despite Baking Soda having half the hardness of Enamel, it still creates enough gentle friction when rubbing up against it, to dislodge plaque from your chompers – this is why it can also support whitening of your teeth, by removing or lightening stains.
It has some other benefits for oral health as well. Baking Soda's pH (8.3) is believed to help make your mouth more alkaline, which is a good thing because those pesky mouth bacteria aren't happy in an alkaline environment higher than 6.5.
Interestingly it is Calcium Carbonate (Chalk) in toothpaste that we found was more abrasive on teeth than baking soda so that’s the one we have to be careful with.
All toothpaste needs some “mechanical” or ‘abrasive’ action to clean effectively. However, if it is too abrasive it is not good for our teeth and gums especially for people that suffer from gum recession. Our toothpaste is formulated with sensitive gums in mind finding a compromise between baking soda levels and abrasion rating ensuring it’s within a safe range. BUT, when gums recede, they can expose the softer tissue which is not enamel and is naturally more prone to decay and structural damage from brushing too hard or using abrasive products, along with a list of sensitivities. This is why we created our Cinnamon version, free from baking soda to ease the minds of those with extra sensitive teeth. As always, if anything irritates, stop using it and visit your dentist for a checkup – if our toothpaste isn’t for you, we will happily refund you.
Charcoal: Some trends are just unhealthy…
It is a scientifically measured and proven fact that using toothpaste containing charcoal overtime can increase the surface roughness of tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is usually tough, strong and very smooth. And, rough tooth enamel is a sign of tooth erosion… So while a charcoal toothpaste may enhance the whitening of your teeth, you’re better off binning that one!
Outdated science: Stay in the 1970’s, not in my mouth please.
Toothpaste regulations seem to be based on the premise that none of it is swallowed. Obviously, these people don’t have children or haven’t been multitasking while brushing. So we wanted to make a toothpaste with the same philosophy as our skincare… plant-based & non-toxic, ensuring no SLS, Parabens, artificial sweeteners and colours. From our research, we even found an ingredient that had been banned in handwash because of being a potential carcinogen that was still in toothpaste until last year. Toothpaste often has shiny boxes and scientific looking labels, but the ingredients can be very 1970, as it’s been around for so long with so little change.
It's surprisingly difficult to find a full list of ingredients for some pretty popular dental care products online. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate ("SLS") is the surfactant used in most dishwashing liquids and cleansers that causes them to foam up and bubble. Because it can be quite irritating to the skin, and a lot of our customers have concerns about SLS in general, we don't use it in any A Bit Hippy products. So of course, we didn't put it in our toothpaste either. This means it doesn't foam as much as other toothpaste brands - but that doesn't mean it's not doing its job! This is a trade-off we’re happy to make.
Brushing with any kind of toothpaste is preferable to not brushing at all! However, there is no need to spend decades swallowing and absorbing these chemicals when there are healthy alternatives available that work even better.
Glycerin is used in most toothpaste to help keep it moist. However, there have been questions over its use in toothpaste in particular, due to the belief that it may coat teeth and as a result, prevent remineralisation (whether it be Fluoride or Calcium Hydroxyapatite!). And we don’t want that.
Instead, we use Caprylic Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil). We use lots of coconut-based ingredients in our skincare and we're totally comfortable with using these in our toothpaste as well.
Fluoride: Oh the Controversy of such a key ingredient…
Fluoride is a huge debate, both in water and in toothpaste, so when designing our toothpaste we chose to go with Hydroxyapatite instead. For the sake of your teeth health, you need a remineralising agent of some kind, and this has been the primary function of Fluoride in toothpaste for many years. A lot of people felt that creating a toothpaste without Fluoride is irresponsible and we have also come to realise that many Dental Professionals will not recommend a dental regime that doesn’t contain Fluoride of some kind. The issue for us is that a lot of our customers have told us they would never use, or give their children toothpaste that contains Fluoride… Calcium Hydroxyapatite is a natural and vegan mineral that offers much the same benefits as Fluoride. As with alternative ingredients in skincare, this alternative to Fluoride is a little more expensive and is trickier to formulate with. But we persevered and found that Calcium Hydroxyapatite does a great job of remineralising teeth and repairing small cracks and scratches, just like Fluoride does. We've always relied on evidence when choosing ingredients, and this was no exception.
So, both toothpastes in our range use Calcium Hydroxyapatite and other natural, plant-based, non-toxic ingredients… you won’t have to worry about consuming any synthetic chemicals or damaging ingredients that you might find in other toothpastes.