Fluoride is an extremely controversial ingredient that has been causing all sorts of trouble in the realm of mouth health for ages. Though it helps to strengthen and protect tooth enamel, especially in children, it can also be very toxic if too much is swallowed. Here in Toronto (and many cities all over the world), fluoride is added directly to our water source, which is a constant point of conflict and disagreement; studies have been published linking fluoride to lower IQ in children and increased risk of bone cancer.
The problem is, there hasn’t really been any sort of fluoride alternative available on the market, so people have been forced to either go completely fluoride-free and face potential tooth issues, or just deal with the negative side of fluoride consumption. Neither option is ideal, and maybe that’s why I got so excited when I read about Theodent.
Theodent is a toothpaste company that uses a patented fluoride replacement they’ve discovered called “Rennou.” As bizarre as it sounds, Rennou is derived from the cocoa bean, and Theodent’s studies have shown it not only matches fluoride in terms of protecting tooth enamel, but in most cases outdoes it. Basically, they’re hoping Rennou will eventually replace the use of toxic fluoride as a “safe to swallow” alternative.
I’d read a whole bunch of skeptical thoughts on Theodent and a handful of glowing reviews, but I was determined to try it out myself. The company kindly provided me with 3.4-ounce tubes of their original 300 formula (a $100 tube of toothpaste with whitening properties and extra strength Rennou) and its chocolate-flavored children’s paste ($10). Determined to find out if this new “chocolate toothpaste” really is the golden ticket for the future of oral health, I got to brushing right away.
As far as packaging and initial performance goes, this toothpaste is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I noticed my teeth looked whiter and shinier instantly, and the mint flavor is just the right amount of mint, without that gross natural toothpaste flavor. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the kid version that actually tastes like sweet delicious chocolate. Plus, the tubes look like bars of fancy Willy Wonka chocolate, and how cute is that? While I certainly wouldn’t shell out $100 for a tube of the “extra Rennou” formula (to be honest, I didn’t see much of a difference when I compared, and seriously, $100?!), I can certainly see myself buying the original tube on the regular instead of my usual brand.
Of course I couldn’t just judge Theodent based on superficial results like tooth shine, so I turned to my amazing (and weirdly cool) dentist, Dr. Nazon of United Smiles of Kensington here in Toronto. We always have great conversations about Fleetwood Mac, my ever changing hair color, and tooth health, so I figured he’d be into helping me out on this one. Here’s what he said about Theodent when I asked if I should be using it:
“After having read and listened to all the scientific facts about Theodent, it seems to be a product worth trying. Fluoride, for all its public health benefits, has had a very difficult reputation and is fraught with many negative side effects. To this day there has not been a better/healthier alternative, and governments and companies have continued to use it as the benefits outweighed the risks, especially where kids were concerned. Based on all of the research, Theodent seems to be a healthier, effective (possibly more effective) and less controversial alternative to fluoride, and hopefully governments and individuals will give it a try.”
How about you? Would you trust Rennou to replace fluoride in your toothpaste? Why or why not?