“I see myself as more of an artist than an entrepreneur. My primary concern is putting a product out there that reflects my values. Formulation, quality of ingredients, effect–everything is aligned with what I believe in.” — John Estrada, Co-Founder and CEO
Here’s a question you might’ve asked yourself before: “what goes into a good toothpaste?” Two things matter the most for us: 1) the microbiome-conscious antibacterial action, and 2) the ability to rebuild enamel. Though it might sound simple, our friend John Estrada might tell you otherwise.
John, like most fretting soon-to-be fathers, found himself concerned with the health of his pregnant wife, Kori. At the recommendation of his doctor, he set himself on a mission to find a chemical-free toothpaste made with natural antibiotic agents. However, John’s search for the perfect toothpaste was harder than it sounded; he soon discovered that the chemical-free dental products were little more than flavored paste.
The shortcomings of toothpastes
The dental community’s biggest critique against natural toothpastes is their lack of fluoride. Fluoride is an ingredient in most chemical toothpastes that helps remineralize teeth. The shortcomings of natural toothpastes are significant. However, the dangers of chemical toothpastes are just as notable. Conventional toothpastes, with components like sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol, increase the chances of developing canker sores (1), ulcers, and other health problems. In his search for the balance between healthy and effective, John founded RiseWell: his own brand of natural toothpaste with a unique remineralization agent called hydroxyapatite.
Toothpaste and enamel rebuilding
In order for us to understand why hydroxyapatite is such a big deal, we need to understand the basic structure of the tooth. The tooth includes three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Enamel forms the outer layer of the tooth and is made out of a hydroxyapatite material. After we eat, the bacteria in our mouths ferment the left-over sugars in our mouths. Fermentation produces acid as a by-product, causing the enamel to weaken. This creates tiny pores in our teeth where microscopic bacteria can grow and multiply. You could probably guess the result (hint: cavities) (2).
Demineralization is the obvious countermeasure to remineralization, and our traditional go-to ingredient for this has been fluoride. However, recent scrutiny of fluoride has led us to believe that it MAY NOT BE the best chemical to throw in your mouth twice a day. Fluoride-based toothpaste is the most widespread source of fluoride in the world (3), and its ingestion—especially high among children—can lead to the development of fluorosis and other systemic side effects (4)(5).
Let’s Break it Down…(and Build it Back Up)
Here’s the dilemma: fluoride, the go-to remineralization agent for your teeth, has negative side-effects. However, ditching fluoride-based chemical toothpastes and instead, going natural foregoes rebuilding the enamel and increases the risk for developing cavities.
Catch 22? It would be if it weren’t for our friends at RiseWell. Hydroxyapatite makes up a lot of the enamel (97%!) (6). Studies report that nano-hydroxyapatite particles, which are already widely used in many dental surgeries, have greater remineralization effects than fluoride (6). It’s natural, it’s effective, and—here’s the best part—it’s completely non-toxic (5).
In addition, RiseWell’s toothpaste includes all-natural sweeteners and antimicrobial agents. From wild mint to orange oil, this farmer-market-fresh toothpaste is probably what would turn out if you blended everything in the fresh-produce aisle together. It tastes great, and it’ll give the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth the butt-kicking it deserves.
Well, what was the vision behind this magic toothpaste? We reached out to John Estrada, the aforementioned fretting father and the founder of RiseWell, to find out.
Toothpaste as an art and a gateway to health
John describes himself as more than an entrepreneur. He’s an artist. His primary concern, he says, is to create a product that reflects what he believes in and what he strives to accomplish.
As a result, the formulation and the feel of RiseWell’s product compliment John’s central purpose: to improve health and well-being. His goal is to educate his audience on the shortcomings of traditional dental practices and to provide an alternative to the conventions that may be causing more harm than help.
We here at Your Autoimmunity Connection believe that minor adjustments to our lifestyles make the largest impact on our well-being. We are excited to hear that RiseWell has built itself upon the same sentiment:
“One of the core beliefs of our company is that small things make a big difference. So if we’re going to make an adjustment, why not start with the thing we put in our mouths twice a day?” – John Estrada
We couldn’t agree more, John. We couldn’t agree more.
Written by: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Ellen M. Martin, Annie Rooker
- Babatunda A.Y., Olufemi E.A., Adetokunbo O.B., “Effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A systematic review”, Journal of Oral Pathology & 48.5 (2019):
- Featherstone J.D.B, “Dental Caries: A dynamic disease process.” Australian Dental Journal 53.3 (2008): 286-291
- Kroon J, “The relation between toothpaste usage and fluorosis: a cause for concern?” Journal of the South African Dental Association 56.1 (2001): 20-27
- Monlinia-Frechero N, et al., “Fluoride Exposure Effects and Dental Fluorosis in Children in Mexico City”, Med Sci Monit 21 (2015): 3664-3670
- Amaechi BT, et. al. “Comparative efficacy of a hydroxyapatite and a fluoride toothpaste for prevention and remineralization of dental caries in children.” BDJ Open 5 (2019): 18
- Pepla E., et al. “Nano-hydroxyapatite and its applications in preventive, restorative and regenerative dentistry: a review of literature.” Annali de Stomatologia 5.3 (2014): 108-114