The Product: Toothpaste
The Sustainability Factor: Environmental, Social
The Innovation: Packaging
I wasn’t looking to try a new toothpaste, but I saw Smile Natural Products toothpaste tins at my local farmers market from Sustainable Republic and it just made sense! Toothpaste in a tin. I could imagine dipping my toothbrush through a nice, thick paste. I couldn’t wait to try it! In fact, I tried it as soon as I got home. And I’ll admit I’m not one to brush midday.
I purchased the Mint + Charcoal paste. Curious about the trend in using charcoal in toothpaste, this seemed like a good opportunity. It was a creamy, dark grey paste and looked delightful, like putty; albeit not something you might normally consider using to brush your teeth. I also immediately noticed the strong smell of mint, which was reassuring. And it was as I imagined it would be – a combination of mint and an essence of charcoal. Although the flavor and consistency was pretty uniform, it did vary slightly. Sometimes it was a little more charcoal tasting, and sometimes a little grainy. The first time I tried it, it almost reminded me of pop rocks.
I’m not sure why, but there is something satisfying about dipping your toothbrush in a nice, thick paste. I absolutely loved the experience. I only wetted my brush after dipping, as I feared creating a wet puddle in my tin. It was easy to use, and I could get every last drop of it out. After this being my second experiment with non-commercial toothpaste, I’ve learned that commercial brands often put sodium laurel sulfate in their toothpastes to make them foamy. SLS is a detergent that can cause discomfort for people, including mouth sores. Smile toothpaste will not create a foamy brushing experience, but my teeth felt incredibly clean after. I haven’t tried their other flavors: Cinnamon + Clove, Vanilla + Lavender, or Ginger + Turmeric, to know if it was due to the charcoal or their blend. If there is a downside to not using SLS, it might be that you get more “spray” when spitting and when your toothpaste is a dark grey, that results in a messy sink. But that’s easily remedied.
I brought the tin to my dentist to get his opinion on the product. Apparently charcoal is similar to other whitening products in that it is a natural abrasive. He had no concerns about the product, which put me at ease.
Smile Natural Products toothpaste is made from all natural ingredients.
As I explained in my review for Bite Toothpaste bits, natural products are often more expensive than their mass produced counterparts. My $6 Sensodyne toothpaste can last me about 1 1/2 months, and the $10 Smile toothpaste will last about a month if you use it twice a day. Of course, given that Smile is a paste and you can put as much or as little as you want, that will vary to some degree. I also was only using the Smile toothpaste once a day as I didn’t want to over-strip my teeth.
While I purchased my tin at the farmers market, you can find the Smile toothpaste and other products for sale on their website FeelsGoodToSmile.com. They offer oral care, body care, and a few branded apparel items. You can make a one-time purchase or sign up for subscription services.
Non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and philanthropic… We’re not just good for the environment, we’re good for you!Smile Natural Products
The company is committed to being plastic free. But is tin better than plastic? According to the EPA, aluminum is more valuable and can have 68% recycled content, on average, compared with plastic with only 3%. So, tin is definitely a better option than plastic. Also, if you’re feeling extra crafty, you can turn the tin into a little busy box for your kids, use it to hold pins for sewing, extra coins in your car, gift box for the holidays, pocket wallet for your nephew and on and on. Reuse for the win! It would be nice if they offered a take back program for those of us not so crafty. Perhaps in the future.
They are a black-owned, small business and they give back to the community by hosting workshops in high schools on entrepreneurship.
I would definitely recommend this toothpaste. And I am impressed with their company. They have strong branding, and a good selection of products that are not overdone. The packaging is well thought out. I could see this product having broad appeal and for me, that is a good reason to smile.
Life is better when you smile.Smile Natural Products