It’s no secret that one of the most essential things for a beautiful you is your smile. So when I came across GLO Whitening Antioxidant Toothpaste with Superberry (GLOScience.com, $6.00), I just had to give it a try.
Plus, you can get them in travel- and test-friend sized tubes, which is perfect for a gal on the go. GLO’s toothpaste couples dental favorite fluoride with sunflower oil, stevia rebaudiana, and grape seed extract to whiten teeth and fight against cavities.
One of the benefits of this toothpaste is that it doesn’t use sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause irritation to gums and lips, to clean.
CoQ10 enzyme is an antioxidant found in every animal and plant cell, favored for its treatment of things ranging from heart health to diabetes, and most recently for oral health. Unfortunately, there isn’t quite enough evidence to support CoQ10’s reported effects on the mouth, though it is known for certain that CoQ10 acts to eliminate free radicals that accumulate as we age (and eat), and to provide energy necessary for cell function.
The first major way that CoQ10 benefits your teeth is that regulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in your mouth — too many of which can cause dental collagen and cell disintegration
As we age, however, our cells start to lose their levels of CoQ10, which can impair cell function and growth if not compensated appropriately. One effect major effect is gum recession and plague build up as a result of CoQ10 decrease, commonly realized in the disease periodontis. Plaque can often damage and disintegrate teeth and gums, so topically applying CoQ10 enzyme can clear away at least some pesky plague and food build up.
Research has found this enzyme to be of particular benefit to periodontis patients, as it relieved sensitivity, bleeding, and bacteria-carrying crevicular fluid (that moisturizes gums and sockets) to the affected site. Additionally, CoQ10 relieves pain to sore or sensitive comes, and can even reduce bleeding when topically applied (Indian Journal of Pharmacology).
A no-calorie sweetener that supposedly fights bacteria, prevents cavities and promotes oral health, and is over 200 times sweeter than sugar? That is the popular claim surrounding the South American sugar substitute, stevia rebaudiana.
There isn’t too much evidence supporting the plant’s efficacy against cavities or oral health , but several studies have demonstrated it as great for antibacterial activity on parts of the body. For example, it can fight off Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli bacteria from entering wounds, along with several other common infections (International Journal of Recent Scientific Research). In a separate study, stevia not only served as an antibacterial agent but certain chemical extracts from the plant exhibited anticancer and cancer cell-inhibiting properties (Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research).
But what about teeth? Is it really sensible to put a sugar substitute on your pearly whites, even if it is natural?
This is hotly contested amongst dentists, many claiming that there simply isn’t enough research yet to show that stevia prevents cavities and protects oral health. Dr. Ray Sahelian, on the other hand, promotes stevia as beneficial (or at least neutral) towards oral health. When we eat processed sugars, they activate acid-producing bacteria in our mouths that will disintegrate tooth enamel. Many times bacteria will continue to produce acid up to 20 minutes after sugar residue leaves the mouth. Few studies that have looked at stevia for oral health have found that it doesn’t activate that acid-producing bacteria and is generally safe.
It is reasonable to believe that stevia’s antibacterial properties would allow it to fight harmful bacteria in our mouths, though this is a contested and ill-researched point. As with all major changes in health, consult a doctor before you begin using a product that contains stevia.
As with many of the ingredients in GLO Superberry Toothpaste, grape seed extract is surprisingly effect for oral health, specifically for cavities (The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice). What makes grape seed so special is its polyphenol proanthocyanidin, which acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent — so say goodbye to many harmful bacterias and irritation from vigorous brushing, flossing, or scrapes. Best of all, this polyphenol fortifies collagen found in teeth by converting soluble (dissolvable) collagen in to insoluble collagen.
Basically, this means that the collagen matrix not only develops more fibres, but is more resilient against harmful enzymes and bacteria, leaving teeth strong. Perhaps grape seed’s most important feature is its resistance to S. mutans, a bacteria that produces acid when it comes in contract with sugar and slowly disintegrates teeth (The Journal of Nutrition).
But what does all of this mean in the long run? By fighting against acid-producing bacteria, grapeseed extract prevents tooth demineralization and subsequent cavities. Plus, its good for cleaning up any extra germs that may be lurking around our mouths and may be helpful for relieving minor tooth/gum pain for excessive flossing or scrapes from sharp foods. So how does this extract measure up against more traditional dental ingredients?
Researchers declared grape seed extract as being more effective against root cavities than both fluoride and CaGP, though these ingredients are still highly effective and essential for good overall health (The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice).
I wasn’t very happy with GLO’s Superberry Whitening Toothpaste. It had a very thick, chalky texture to it and left behind the gritty residue you usually feel after visiting the dentist. Going along with the dentist’s office theme, this toothpaste first tastes like fruit punch but leaves the feeling of fluoride and latex gloves on your tongue and teeth. True, I only used GLO’s product for about five days, but my teeth did not feel spectacularly stronger or whiter after using it — if anything, they left my teeth feeling a bit dirty. GLO’s Superberry Whitening Toothpaste certainly isn’t a bad product, but it’s not very novel or wonderful either.
GLO’s Whitening Antioxidant Superberry Toothpaste pairs traditional ingredients like fluoride and titanium dioxide, and pairs them with relatively newer ones like grape seed extract and stevia rebaudiana. Though there isn’t too much research on stevia, it is reported to prevent cavities and inhibit acid-producing bacteria, while grape seed extract eliminates plaque and sensitivity, fortifies tooth collagen, and encourages tooth remineralization. Finally, CoQ10 enzyme relieves sensitivity, prevents cavities, removes plaque, and can also fortify teeth’s internal structure.
But is this product worthwhile? It certainly isn’t bad, and leaves the mouth feeling clean, but it’s not particularly enjoyable to use. If you are looking for something a little fun, give it a try, but don’t be too disappointed if it leaves you with a gritty fluoride feeling and taste of latex gloves.
Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate 0.84%
Water, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Hydrated Silica, Xylitol, Titanium Dioxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Flavor, Maltodextrin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Acacia Senegal Gum, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), White Cranberry Juice Concentrate, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Lactate, Folic Acid, Ammonium Glycyrrhizinate, Gelatin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide, FD&C Red 30.