The importance of natural oral hygiene

By Kori Estrada 

I never would have imagined that I would embark on a journey to create a new toothpaste, but about two years ago my husband and I started thinking about having kids and because I have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), it can make it more difficult to have kids. After meeting with doctors, I learned that I would have to go through the IVF process in order to have children. As any woman who has undergone this process knows, you want to do everything you can to make it successful. My doctor advised that I should eliminate any products that could contain harmful ingredients. I went through my apartment and threw out anything with questionable ingredients and through this process, I struggled to replace the first and last thing we put in our body: toothpaste. So I turned to my brother Dr. Derek Gatta and he told me the following. 

Harmful ingredients 

Toothpastes have not had much innovation in decades. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary chemicals while maintaining or exceeding a level of efficacy customers deserve and expect. There could be as many as seven harmful ingredients in your toothpaste. Conventional toothpaste that people have been using for over seventy years is full of toxic chemicals like antifreeze and irritants.

Here’s a breakdown: 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)’s only purpose in toothpaste is to provide the foaming effect, the illusion of added effectiveness. This is the same chemical that is in our laundry detergent and commonly causes recurring mouth sores. 

Triclosan, which the FDA banned in hand soaps because of  the link to cancer in animals after prolonged exposure. 

Propylene glycol is the main active ingredient in antifreeze. The use of it in toothpaste is solely for texture. But, no one wants to put antifreeze in their mouth two times a day. While fluoride does have effective uses and has its purpose, it can be dangerous in large amounts. 

Natural toothpastes 

When it comes to natural toothpastes, there are many ingredients that are harmless and helpful: 

Essential oils such as tea tree oil, wild mint oil, and peppermint oil are natural ways to kill bacteria and freshen breath.

Silica and Calcium Carbonate are natural scrubbers that don’t strip your enamel in the process. 

Xylitol fights against the harmful bacteria and prevents cavities.

The one problem we found is that most natural toothpastes don’t end up replacing the effective ingredients with any alternatives to protect your teeth. So, if you switch to natural toothpaste, it may be safer... but not as effective. To sum it up, I told my sister “Most natural toothpastes are as effective as water, and the bristles do more to clean your teeth than the actual toothpaste.” So what now? 


That’s when we did our research and found a key active ingredient that works and has been the gold standard in Japan for over 40 years: hydroxyapatite.

Yes, it is hard to pronounce so we refer to it as HA. In a nutshell, it is a natural mineral that makes up 90% of our tooth enamel and has been shown to be similar to fluoride in remineralizing tooth structure. The mineral binds to our teeth and creates a shield to rebuild and protect the enamel. It even has natural whitening properties. 

So, after hundreds of prototypes, RiseWell was born (along with our son Leo!). We were finally able to give people a toothpaste that is natural, clean, works and is 100% backed by science and a board of experts. Dr. Adam Silevitch, attending pediatric dentist at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University School of Dental Medicine said, “Finding RiseWell has made my practice much easier. After years of not feeling comfortable recommending non-effective toothpaste to my patients, I finally have found a product that I know for certain I can trust.”