Not all ‘natural’ toothpaste is good … here’s how to choose one
If you take even a passing interest in excluding chemicals from your daily life, toothpaste probably comes pretty high up on your bathroom hit list.
But we still need to keep our pearly whites shiny and cavity free.
So how can you tell if your natural toothpaste is the real deal?
We went straight to those in the know, Natural Family Co (NFco) founders and directors Rachel and Justin Bernhaut.
From Jack N’ Jill to NFco
The Melbourne couple were working as photographers in New York when they became frustrated by the lack of natural care options for babies and children.
“Our first-born son hated the taste of a very expensive tube of natural toothpaste and that’s where the first seeds of Jack N’ Jill were born,” Rachel says.
With Justin’s background as a pharmacist, the couple devised a safe toothpaste formula made from organic ingredients and reinvigorated the popular Jack N’ Jill brand.
Then two years ago they launched NFco, a premium natural toothpaste brand for adults, offering a traditional tooth brushing experience without the chemicals and toxins of some brands.
What to look for in a natural toothpaste
The Bernhaut’s explain there are a few key things to check when selecting your natural paste:
1. Xylitol content
“Xylitol is a natural alternative to fluoride and is used in natural toothpaste for cavity protection,” Justin says.
“The percentage used is important. It’s a premium ingredient and a number of natural toothpaste companies say they use it, but it’s only a token amount.
“NFco has the highest level of Xylitol available in any toothpaste brand in Australia at 25 per cent, making it the most naturally effective. Our toothpaste is 70 per cent organic.”
Pre-eminent Australian Endodontist, Dr Mark Weis, who performs root canals on a daily basis, echoes this sentiment.
“Prevention is the best cure and I’m a big fan of Xylitol in natural toothpaste for all of its beneficial and protective oral care applications,” he says.
“When using a non-fluoride toothpaste, it’s important to make sure that it contains a high level of Xylitol. It’s also non-toxic, so young kids can use it safely.”
2. Double-check the ingredients
Rachel and Justin say it’s essential to know what you’re buying when it comes to natural toothpaste.
“Not only do you swallow toothpaste, it’s absorbed through the gums – so it’s important to know what you’re putting in your mouth,” Justin says.
“Some pastes use a host of harmful ingredients such as foaming agents and artificial colours and sweeteners that add up over time.”
3. Natural flavours
Some chemically contrived flavours can cause rashes in the skin or mouth.
Determined to rise to the challenge of natural flavours, the Bernhauts say they searched far and wide for a botanical that tasted clean and fresh, and one that reflected their love of Australia.
“In a magic moment we happened upon some wild mint which was thriving on a creek bank a stone’s throw from our backyard, and this ultimately become the inspiration for including Australian Native River Mint in all NFco toothpastes,” Rachel says.
“It’s real mint, not a chemical copy of mint.”
- Related: How to beat bad breath
Take your choice
NFco toothpaste is available in different varieties – original, whitening, sensitive and propolis and myrrh, which protects against gingivitis.
While you’re at it, pick up an NFco toothbrush – they are biodegradable and manufactured using non-GMO cornstarch, with recyclable nylon bristles.
Rachel and Justin say their sons Dali, 11, and nine-year-old Jagger are two of the brand’s biggest fans – though they still swap between NFco toothpaste and their favourite Jack N’ Jill flavours.
“It’s about doing what’s right for not only your own oral health but also the environment,” Rachel says.
“Over 30 million toothbrushes go to landfill every year in Australia.”
This post is brought to you by NFco.