Hello Friends! I've been testing out Grants of Australia's toothpaste for a couple of months now. Both my husband and I tested these toothpastes for a period of about 8 months. So I think I am in a good position to review them and recommend them to you.
This is a sponsored post and two tubes of toothpaste ("Mild Mint with Aloe Vera" and " Propolis with Mint") plus the toothbrush were gifted to me. We used up the gifted "Propolis with Mint" toothpaste and so I bought two additional tubes for this review.
All photos here are my own. Whilst this is a sponsored post, my views are my own and I was not obliged to provide a positive review.
There are more varieties of oral care from Grants of Australia and you can purchase them online or find stockist at https://www.grantsofaustralia.com.au/
When I was first approached to review Grants of Australia's toothpaste and toothbrush, I was intrigued. Let me begin by saying that I am neither an advocate, for, nor, against products that can be described as "clean" (i.e. clean from known nasties like parabens).
As you might know, I am an "information hoarder". I like to accumulate information of any kind. Basically I "store" a fair bit of information in my brain, regardless of whether such information is useful/useless.
One such "information file" relates to toothpaste. Apparently, the average person (in countries where there is a wider variety of food - think "First World Issues") consumes around 13 Kgs of toothpaste over a lifespan of 71 years. (click here for source).
In 2018, out of 327.16 million American, 72.68 million used toothpaste 4 times or more each day (click here for source). 227.7 million Americans used toothpaste at least once a day (the highest was in the 2 times category - 1119.9 million). That's a lot of toothpaste.
I've also read a very interesting article: "Global affordability of fluoride toothpaste", Ann S Goldman, Robert Yee, Christopher J Holmgren and Habib Benzian. https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-8603-4-7. Whilst the article is now more than 10 years old, it is still a very illuminating research paper for those who have always wondered about toothpaste, and how globalisation has impacted oral care. Click here to go to the article.
13 Kgs of toothpaste over 71 years. Uhmmm, imagine consuming that much toothpaste a day in one of those silly Youtube challenges. #gross. If I were to do such a challenge, I think I would definitely choose Grants of Australia's toothpastes. They are largely made from natural ingredients and they do not contain fluoride, SLS or parabens.
I will now discuss the pros and cons of not having fluoride; SLS or parabens (feel free to skip ahead if such information is boring to you).
So, is a fluoride-free toothpaste good for you? That was the first question that sprang to my mine. I've grown up in a country where our tap water has fluoride added to it. I've always understood it to be a good thing for maintaining dental health. So I did a bit of research. The research papers/articles I found that were most helpful are set out and linked below:
Chen H, Yan M, Yang X, Chen Z, Wang G, Schmidt-Vogt D, Xu Y, Xu J. Spatial distribution and temporal variation of high fluoride contents in groundwater and prevalence of fluorosis in humans in Yuanmou County, Southwest China. J Hazard Mater. 2012 Oct 15;235-236:201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.07.042. Epub 2012 Aug 8 (you have to pay US$41.95 to read the full article)
Based on the papers above, I've concluded that, on an objective basis, fluoride, when used in safe amounts is beneficially for the prevention of tooth decay. However, excessive amounts for children under the age of 8 may cause "fluorisis" which is basically faint white markings on teeth. I'll leave you to decide whether "faint white markings" are a big deal. An even more alarming statistic is that fluoride in abnormally high amounts (approximately equating to eating a tube of fluoride-based toothpaste a day) can lead to "skeletal fluorisis" which is a result of excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones causing painful damage to bones and joints (ibid). Some of the papers above also indicate that excessive amounts of fluoride can also lead to ("scary list" below):
calcification of the pineal gland (this glad regulates sleep cycles and body rhythms);
acceleration of female puberty;
negatively impacts male and female fertility;
bad for kidney health;
could hurt your cardiovascular system;
negatively impacts on cognitive abilities - i.e. children that have been exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride have been found to have a lower IQ.
YUP. All of the above sounds pretty horrible, but we are talking about excessive and grossly huge amounts of fluoride (click here for source).
In conclusion, if you live in "First World" developed country where fluoride has been added to your tap water (at international-standard safety levels - must be below 2 mg/L), you could be, all things being considered, relatively safe in not using a toothpaste with fluoride in it. It appears, that all things being equal, that for children between 0-3 years old, should be better off not using a toothpaste with fluoride in it until they learn how to "spit" out the toothpaste.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate ("SLS") is what creates the foamy, bubbly consistency that we have grown to associate with "cleanliness". There are several articles (around 16,000 studies - I've quickly scanned through about 20 of them) about whether SLS is good or bad for you. The "good" ones tend to come from manufacturers of products that contain SLS. The ones that I have read, in my view, that provide an objective view, are the ones, that I am more willing to believe. I've listed my top two reference papers below along with three other more interesting ones. You can click on them to go straight to the articles.
SLS is classified by the EWG Cosmetics Database as a "denatural, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer." The EWG's database classifies SLS as having a low overall hazard rating. However, it does note that restricted use is recommended, if not (wait for it "scary list" below):
can cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs,
can cause organ system toxicity including having negative impacts on the development and reproductive systems;
increased canker sores; and
possibly carcinogenic (increases where SLS is combined with known carcinogens - think ticking time bomb cocktail mix).
SLS is prevalent in a lot of products. You might be surprised to know that it is used in lipsticks; hair sprays; perfumes; sunscreen; body lotions; shampoos and laundry detergents. Your skin, as you might know, is the largest organ of your body and it soaks up chemicals etc. So if you are in a situation where you both orally ingest and absorb SLS through your skin, the likelihood of you suffering from the negative effects of SLS increases. This daily exposure to products containing SLS, as noted in the papers referred to above, haven't as yet been fully tested.
However, there are studies that indicate that direct exposure to SLS (in excessive amounts) can affect fertility, intelligence and survival instincts (click here for source). Whilst the impact of SLS may not be evident in your generation, researchers have hypothesised that it could be seen in the next generation (this is based off testing on mice where the little mousy is directly exposed to SLS). If that's not scary enough, I don't know what is.
Apparently, your body can absorb approximately 2Kg (around 5 pounds) of chemicals and toxins. So, my conclusion is that, less is more.
Stay away from SLS as much as you can.
The article by Mercola does list out a number of easy ways in which you can help reduce your exposure to SLS (click here for list).
There is an enormous mountain of research available that supports the case against parabens. Just reading what is on the Environmental Working Group's website is more than sufficient to scare the shits out of me (click here to view some of the research materials). So, 'nuff said on parabens.
They are bad for you, avoid them as much as you can.