Fresh Mint Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste Review
The Green Beaver Company (TGBC) was founded by Karen and Alain – scientists working in the pesticide and pharmaceutical industry, respectively.
They decided to take a stand against chemically rich products and cosmetic animal testing by creating natural, healthier products that are safe for the whole family. The philosophy of TGBC is to create products that “do not harm animals, do not harm the earth, and do not harm you.” They do this by avoiding synthetic chemical plants (which may produce harmful waste and byproducts) and instead using natural ingredients, focusing on locally grown ingredients to avoid transportation energy and waste, and avoiding animal testing. The best way to fight animal testing in cosmetics is to abolish the need for it.
TGBC factory is located in Hawkesbury, Ontario, and they encourage visitors! They make their production processes transparent, which is great for skeptical consumers, or those who are serious about knowing where their products come from. They sell their products all over Canada, so if you like what you read below, you can find the closest retailer to you here. You can also purchase their products on their website!
About a month after launching my blog, I had some readers reach out to me inquiring about natural, cruelty-free toothpastes. I knew that TGBC sold natural toothpastes in many flavours, and so I reached out to them asking if they would be willing to send me a toothpaste for review. They were kind enough to send me a tube of my choice, and I chose the Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste in the flavour Fresh Mint.
I chose the sensitive teeth toothpaste because I have, well, very sensitive teeth. I have minor gum recession on multiple teeth from years of brushing in a circular motion (thanks, elementary school). Apparently, the correct way to brush is to jiggle the brush into your gum line, and flick the crud in the opposite direction of your gum line. Who knew the circular motion would cause me a lifetime of agony post chocolate consumption.
TGBC also sells toothpaste in the flavours cilantro, cinnamon, frosty mint, green apple, spearmint, star anise, and zesty orange. All of the toothpastes are a great price which is comparable to many drug store brands. Previous to using TBGC sensitive teeth toothpaste, I’d used everything from Colgate to Crest to Sensodyne. They did the job, and I think Sensodyne helped with sensitivity the most, but they were really nothing to write home about. In terms of my dental routine, I go to the dentist every 6 months, brush at least twice a day, floss once a day, and use mouth wash.
I’ve broken down my review into: consistency, flavour and lasting power, and sensitivity. I’ve also mentioned ingredients, and comments from the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) regarding this toothpaste, after this review.
The consistency is that of a paste, not a gel, and is slightly less thick/viscous than other toothpastes. There is no gritty texture to the paste, and during brushing there are minimal emulsifying properties. In other words, the toothpaste doesn’t lather up, a property obtained via detergent addition (usually sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS). It took some getting used to, and occasionally I’ll add more paste to my brush to get an extra cleaning, but after a couple months use I quite like the consistency. Different doesn’t mean worse!
Flavour and Lasting Power:
This toothpaste has a natural, minty flavour. After brushing, it feels as though you’ve had a drink of water with fresh mint, and the flavour isn’t overpowering. I also think it’s longer lasting than other toothpastes (including Colgate, which is what I’d be using prior to this one) and doesn’t have a bad aftertaste. Another note related to flavour: no SLS means you can drink orange juice after brushing your teeth! Score.
After about two months using this toothpaste, I noticed that I was complaining less about my sensitivity. My teeth are mainly sensitive toward the cold and sugary foods, which I was by no means eating less of during this process. Although my teeth are still sensitive to sugary foods, I noticed they were less sensitive while actually brushing and rinsing. My teeth also used to be sensitive toward mouthwash before using this toothpaste, and I had to water down the mouthwash with warm water. I am currently having no nerve sensitivity! I’m not sure if it’s from this toothpaste completely, but I definitely think it helped. The medical ingredient potassium nitrate (KNO3) is added to this toothpaste to decrease nerve sensitivity, and is a common toothpaste ingredient approved by the CDA. KNO3 decreases nerve sensitivity by traveling through dentinal tubules to depolarizes the nerves. You can read more about CDA approved strategies to decrease sensitivity here.
The following ingredients are posted from TGBC website:
Natural cleansing agents: Natural xylitol.
Natural mineral whiteners: Silica and calcium carbonate.
Natural breath fresheners: Spearmint and menthol.
Medicinal Ingredient: Potassium nitrate 5% w/w
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Sorbitol, Aqua, Glycerin, Hydrate Silica, Xylitol, Coco-glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Menthol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.
Please note that the glycerin used in this toothpaste is plant-derived, making this toothpaste vegan!
The Canadian Dental Association and Fluoride
Fluoride is used as a toothpaste additive for its decay fighting power. Fluoride combines with calcium and phosphate to create a mineral veneer coating that fights enamel decay. Fluoride is added to drinking water to promote the dental health of a population, and is safe at the doses used. However, over consumption of fluoride may cause dental fluorosis, characterized by discoloured enamel (white or brown discolouration, depending on severity). Although dental flourosis is mainly a cosmetic concern, TGBC has chosen to exclude fluoride from its toothpastes for its potential toxic effects at high concentrations.
I reached out to the Canadian Dental Association to ask for their opinion on continuing the use of this toothpaste, and the importance of fluoride in your dental routine. The Coordinator of Communication replied to my email. I’ve excluded her name from the reply to protect her privacy.
“Thank you for contacting the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). The CDA recommends daily oral care that includes brushing twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. Do not rinse after brushing as the fluoridated toothpaste so as not to rinse away the cavity-fighting benefits that fluoride provides. However, if you follow a healthy diet, being especially mindful of what you snack on, practice daily oral care and follow regular visits to the dentist to catch any dental issues early, your choice of toothpaste is up to you. The CDA recommends use of a fluoridated toothpaste. http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/good_for_life/”
Wait, what was that about not rinsing? Pretty sure everyone rinses, and shouldn’t we be watching children when they brush so they don’t swallow toothpaste? It looks like I haven’t been harnessing the benefit of fluoride!
I believe fluoride is beneficial to the dental routine, however I do not think my teeth will suffer by continuing the use of my Green Beaver toothpaste. When compared with brushing my teeth, eating right, and going to the dentist regularly (where I typically get a fluoride treatment), the presence of fluoride in my toothpaste is not a pressing concern.
I should mention I am no dental expert. I’ll see what my dentist has to say about my teeth, and my toothpaste, when I visit him in January. Until then, I’ll be using The Green Beaver Company’s toothpaste. Needless to say, I love it.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to The Green Beaver Company for making this post possible!
Laura from Cruelty-Free PhD
Laura is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. She has 5 cats – Joey, Chloe, Liz, Scruffy, and Strider, and 3 goldfish – Otto, Comet, and Lil Mikey. She’s crazy about her family and friends, horses, shopping, and science. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nanotechnology Engineering, and in September 2016 she began graduate studies in biomedical engineering! She’s also embarking on another journey – a cruelty-free lifestyle! Her blogs are all about the journey to becoming cruelty-free. Cruelty-free means ensuring that every step of a product's synthesis process is ethical. It is about exploring brands that are not only animal product-free, but use their platform to educate the public. Becoming cruelty-free is a process. The purpose is not to pressure people about making an immediate transition, but to shed light on products and recipes that are on par if not superior to alternatives that test on animals or use animal products. It is to demonstrate that with this lifestyle we can all treat ourselves. Every day. Guilt-free! For more information, please visit http://www.crueltyfreephd.com/ You can also follow Laura on social media: Instagram @crueltyfreephd Facebook @crueltyfreephd