A Toothpaste that DOESN'T kill all bacteria?
One minute we’re trying to kill all bacteria, the next minute we’re inviting them back in for a cup of tea with some gluten free biscuits. Let’s face it, the health industry is pretty confusing at the moment and we are getting a tonne of mixed messages about bacteria either being our friend or our foe!
How healthy is your mouth?
Our guts and the good bacteria that live in depths of our intestines has been trending across health and wellness accounts recently but there hasn’t been much talk around our mouths. The only thing I tend to see while scrolling mindlessly down my feed is people putting blue lights in their mouths with an aim to make their teeth whiter. While a bright and white smile makes for a great instagram picture we definitely need to take more steps towards taking care of our mouths. If you’ve ever had a toothache, you’ll definitely know why!
Our mouth is the first step into our digestive system and it is where all the mastication happens (throwback GCSE science when mastication was the funniest word ever). With all this talk about bacteria helping digestion in our gut it makes a whole load of sense that it’s happening in our mouths too!
Human Oral Microbiome
In fact, our mouths contain a whole gang of good bacteria working hard to keep our mouths healthy! There’s a lil ecosystem in there, scientists call it the “Human Oral Microbiome”. But like with any community there’s the bad neighbourhood and the good neighbourhood, in this case we’re talking about bacteria. The bad bacteria in our mouths can cause havoc eroding tooth enamel and causing tooth decay and other oral diseases. However, the good bacteria (the probiotics) are there to help our overall health and oral health.
Zendium - a toothpaste without all the antibacterial agents
When Zendium approached us to test out their toothpaste, we were a bit sceptical because it’s not a toothpaste brand we recognised. But, as we read more into the brand and how it can help boost good bacteria in our mouths we were intrigued!
So how do we get more of the good bacteria in and the bad bacteria out? Zendium seem to have a solution! Instead of antibacterial agents Zendium toothpaste contains the same enzymes and proteins as your mouth use to fight bacteria. They claim to protect the mouth the same way nature intended.
We ask a dentist!
This all sounds great but I always get a bit sceptical when things sounds too good to be true so the first thing I did was message my friend Amina( who happens to be a dentist that I trust and respect) with a whole load of questions. Here’s what she said:
The health industry has taken a turn recently. Once upon a time it was all about killing all bacteria! Now we're more informed and know that not all bacteria is our enemy. Is this really the case for our mouths?
Absolutely. We've come to understand that not all of the millions of bacteria that co-exist in or on our bodies have dodgy motives! Of course some bugs are disease associated and it's understandable that these organisms were seen as enemies. That's why our daily habits (like washing your hands regularly) are essential to reduce the likelihood of picking up infections.
Our daily oral hygiene practices are an important part of controlling the growth of bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay. But there are millions of bacteria in our mouths, on our skin and in ours guts that play an essential positive role in the health of our bodies!
So why is it important for our mouths to have good bacteria?
Most bacteria are our friends. Good bacteria on our skin produces chemicals that help prevent the growth of infection-causing bacteria. Our gut is home to bacteria that work together to help digest food and absorb nutrition but play an integral role in maintaining our immune systems. Our mouths also have hundreds of types of bacteria that work in similar ways. Some work in direct competition to bad bacteria for food and space, preventing them from overgrowing and causing bad breath, gum disease and decay. Some work by producing proteins that help saliva in it's actions of washing away sugar as well as hardening the enamel on our teeth.
Our mouths are also the start of the food digestion process and produce special proteins (known as enzymes) that start the breakdown of foods. Its essential that these processe are allowed to perform as well as they can by brushing twice a day with toothpaste and flossing.
What do you think of Zendium's method of including the same enzymes and proteins that you naturally find in our mouths, in the toothpaste?
Zendium has taken a holistic view by considering the importance of maintaining the unique flora or natural balance of our mouths. By including specific active enzymes and proteins naturally found in saliva, the toothpaste has clinically shown to helps keep the mix of good and bad bacteria balanced. It also doesn't contain chemicals that can interfere with the natural environment, such as Tricolsan, which destroys even the friendliest of bacteria. But unlike a lot of 'natural' fluoride-free toothpastes, Zendium contains fluoride, which is clinically proven to harden the enamel, the strong outer layer of our teeth. There is no quick-fix to good health, but Zendium will help to maintain a healthy mouth as well as brushing twice a day, flossing, regularly visiting the dentist and having balanced diet.
If our mouths are built to naturally clean themselves why don't we just stop brushing our teeth? (This is obvs not good but tell us why!)
That's a great question. Well firstly, I'd be out of a job. Humans haven't always brushed their teeth! But our diets were much more fibrous and tougher in the past which would manually remove plaque. The fact that foods was unprocessed, meant less sugar in our diets overall and less decay. But nowadays, brushing is essential. Good bacteria relies on the regular removal of plaque, the complex layer of bacteria and protein that grow on our teeth. If we stopped brushing, the bad bacteria will overgrow and recruit even worse bacteria into the environment. The overgrowth of bad bacteria and the chemicals they release will cause gums to become inflamed as our bodies try to fight back. This is known as gum disease and can result in the tooth loss in the long-term. Bad bacteria are better able to use sugar in the foods we eat to cause tooth decay. So altogether, its a smelly mess!
Zendium uses subtle flavours only so your mouth feels more natural after brushing therefore not distorting your taste, should we be freaked out that our mouths don't feel 'minty fresh' after brushing
It's funny but since modern toothpaste was introduced we've come to associate the feeling of cleanliness to a tingling feeling. But in reality, the most important thing is knowing that by brushing your teeth regularly with a toothpaste like Zendium that you'll be improving the health of your mouth in a natural way. Zendium does not contain SLS, sodium laurel sulphate, parabens found in things like shampoos and face wash and which we know can be harmful, and for some can cause ulcers. I appreciate the fact that I can keep my mouth clean and healthy without worrying about introducing unnecessary chemical into my body. The fact that I can taste the food I eat is a also a huge, delicious bonus.
After speaking to Amina I was 75% sold. To seal the deal I need to test it! Rachel and I have been using the toothpaste over the past couple of weeks. I personally really like it! With normal toothpastes I loved the minty fresh feeling in my mouth after brushing but I always found that my breath didn’t actually stay minty fresh for very long. With Zendium my breath is relatively neutral and actually stays that way for hours after, even if I don’t eat - this is great! I’ve also had comments on my teeth looking shinier than usual! Here’s what Rachel thought too: “We were given a few choices to try, and I opted for the “Complete Protection” toothpaste first, which I’ve now been using for a few weeks now. At first…the natural taste completely threw me but now it’s fine, it just takes some getting used to (a lifetimes worth of familiarity!). As a toothpaste, it feels as any other would, but knowing in the background Zendium is boosting the good bacteria in my mouth, I definitely would use this again over others!“
You can purchase Zendium here. This is a sponsored post, and in return we wrote an honest blog post and linked directly to Zendium’s product.