The short answer: 96% of us are walking around with disease and cavities in our mouths. Even the best of the brushers, flossers, and rinsers.
For starters, we’ve been told to use commercial brands of toothpaste and mouthwash that contains industrial chemicals our mouths can’t even pronounce, and our gums absorb what we put into ours mouth at an even higher speed than our hands absorb lotion.
But how effective are they? Are we just using these brands because that’s what available and on sale, because it’s what our dentists hand us in sample size when we leave?
In short, yes. The only alternative has been using a “natural” toothpaste that doesn’t contain science-backed materials. That’s why we’re here, and we’d like to get you on the right track by making some much-needed changes to our morning and evening routines.
We’re not asking for for the same accountability that we ask for in our food, skin care products, shampoos or clothing, yet, our mouth is the number one source of disease in the body and a huge source of chronic inflammation for many. The United States Surgeon General actually refers to this as the “Silent Epidemic.” Those inflammation and bacteria cells enter into our bloodstream and not only wreak havoc on the immune system, but have also been linked to fatal diseases, like Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Alzheimer's.
We all now understand that sleep, diet and exercise are essential to whole body health. In fact, according to Dr. Rudi Tanzi and Deepak Chopera’s new book, Super Gene’s, 96% of disease is lifestyle-related.
It’s time to take a stand on the most important part of preventive health that we aren’t considering: our mouth
1) Your toothpaste includes ingredients banned in hand soap.
The FDA has banned a hormone inhibitor known as triclosan in hand soap—and the European Union has banned it entirely in consumer products. Chances, are, though, that drug store toothpaste is still keeping it in the mix, transferring it to your mouth, and, because your mouth absorbs things so quickly, it goes right into your digestive tract.
There’s other less-than-wonderful stuff in there like proplyne glycol—AKA airplane de-icer—the stuff they spray on planes to remove the ice—and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can actually cause canker sores.
With our toothpaste, Ela Mint, we’ve decided to only to try and come up with a clever name (did it work?) but to use ingredients that we recognize, and can pronounce, like peppermint oil and green tea.
Actually, full disclosure, the main one you might not recognize on first blush is nano-hydroxyapatite, a fortifying version of the mineral that makes up your teeth. NASA originally created it to aid astronauts and the Japanese have used it in their toothpaste since the 1970’s because of its efficacy (studies indicate that it’s more effective than fluoride) and it’s safety (both 100% biocompatible and nontoxic, which can’t be said of fluoride).
2) Your mouthwash is making your breath worse.
The time has come to trade the pain for gain. You know that burning sensation that you think is cleaning your mouth while swishing with an alcohol based mouthwash? It’s a great habit-forming trick on the consumer, but what if we told you that it actually dries out your gums and makes your breath smell worse? It’s burning because it’s hurting your mouth. That’s what severe pain usually indicates.
Research has also suggested that alcohol based mouthwash is linked to throat cancer. Beyond that, we don’t want 99.8% of our bacteria killed. The good kind is essential to a healthy microbiome. As Dr. Mark Buhenne says, “Coconut Oil pulling is a great replacement for mouthwash and can improve gut health.” Not only is the health of your gums at risk that burning sensation can be impacting digestion, too. Stick to clean and gentle ingredients like our Cocorinse, which is mostly cold-pressed coconut oil with organic mint oils with a safe, effective version of the mineral that makes up your enamel to help fortify the teeth. Or don’t—buy coconut oil in bulk, add some peppermint oil, and go to town. You will feel and see results after the first 10 minutes of swishing.
3) It’s time to make brushing your teeth a meditation.
We’re living in a time of mindful home cleaning, mindful exercise, mindful laundry, meditating at your desk at work or on public transportation...this moment, twice a day, should be part of that routine, especially if you’ve thought about meditating but haven’t found the time. It’s just two minutes, but that’s enough time to ground and be away from the endless newscycle and create a ritual. This isn’t a “new age” concept, but an invitation to slow down and calm your mind. Studies have shown that meditation helps improve sleep, promotes focus, sharpens memory and beefs up your immune system.
Unlike some of the other electric brushes out there, ours doesn’t sound like a jackhammer so it’s a nice sound to invite into your mindful brushing. First, relax your hand (we have a tendency to tense up around oral care) and relax your mouth and jaw. You can put your attention on the way the bristles feel on your teeth and how the toothpaste tastes (pretty great, if you’re using Ela Mint!).
The brush automatically tells you when the 2-minutes are up, so forget about watching the clock or wondering what time it is (hint: it’s now). Once you’re done, take a deep breath and be grateful of your teeth and the job they do everyday.
Congrats! You’re now a meditator.
4) Your floss is probably covered in petroleum or Teflon and breaks a bunch.
You know that thin, flexible floss that you’ve used? Well, it’s Teflon. It’s suggested that we throw pots and pans out when they start flaking, so why are we sawing it into our gums?
And if you’re using the waxed kind, you’re likely using one with a petroleum based coating. Industrial grade chemicals have no place in your mouth.
Ours is made with hundreds of expanding microfibers and covered in beeswax, so you don't have to worry about what might be seeping into your body. In fact, we think it’s such a nice departure from the kind you’ve been using that we’ve been known to convert our customers from people who can’t be bothered to moderately enthusiastic regular flossers.
5) It’s dated, and not in a funky old school way.
We need to get woke during our wake-up.
Fluoride was first formulated 100 years ago, and we’ve pretty much been using that formula for 100 years when it comes to our oral care products. Would you want to use food preservation or medical treatments that haven’t changed in 100 years? Plus, if Fluoride it’s the oral care silver bullet, why are literally almost all of us walking around with oral disease or cavities? We’ve outsourced our mouths to commercial brands and dentists, when mindful home care is actually the most important aspect of keeping your mouth healthy.
Going to the dentist every 6 months and using the right products isn’t the only variable to consider.
The self-care movement is upon us, and for the mouth has been left behind. Eastern medicine, particularly Ayurveda, has long understood that the mouth is a main focus to overall health. We want sparkling white smiles, but we aren't considering the cost to our health, probably because we didn’t know there was one.
But, that’s like going to a tanning booth without considering what’s happening below the skin’s surface.
In short, we created Boka because we wanted to use products that work with our bodies, not against them.
The main active ingredient that we use is nano-hydroxyapatite (the mineral that makes up your enamel), originally developed by NASA to aid astronauts in zero gravity environments to prevent bone and enamel loss.
If you’ve been following the recent Japanese beauty product craze, you might find it interesting that Japan has considered it their gold standard for 30 years and the EU is taking notice. It’s 100% nontoxic and biocompatible and studies suggest it works better than fluoride.
Caring for your mouth should be a daily ritual that makes you feel connected to your body and mind; it shouldn’t be a chore that invokes discomfort.
Once you start seeing oral care as a way of honoring yourself you start to notice how simple and second nature that it can be. After all, the mouth has the highest incidence of disease, but it’s also the most preventable and reversible conditions if you’re doing the maintenance.