Growing up, I never feared the dentist -- I looked forward to it. Probably because, as a child, my dentists were my grandfather and uncle. As I grew up, I still never minded the dentist the way most people seemed to. I mean, send me to any other kind of doctor appointment and I'm a total mess with my blood pressure off the charts and weeping in the corner like a child, but I'm pretty cool with the dentist. It's become a challenge: can I make it to thirty without ever having a single cavity or anything wrong with my teeth? So far, I'm on the right track, and I really hope to instill this in Ethan as well. Proper dental hygiene is so important and it's been a goal of mine to start Ethan up realizing the importance of caring for his teeth. Ethan brushes his teeth three times everyday: after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner and we also floss together twice a week. My diligence as a parent and turning teeth brushing time into a fun game to look forward to, however, can only go so far. A lot of the responsibility remains in the toothpaste. Of course, it's no secret I try to stay on the natural side of things. When Ethan's dentist gave us the okay to start using children's toothpaste at age one, I made sure to choose a natural, organic brand from the health food store. After all, it was being sold in the health food store, it was organic, it was all natural, so it had to be a good fit for my little one's mouth, right? Of course, I was wrong. According to the EWG's Skindeep database, the toothpaste we were using was rated a 3 -- a moderate hazard -- with some ingredients individually being rated as high as a 6 for developmental and reproductive toxicity or allergies and lung irritation. Totally scary, right? As the parent of an asthmatic toddler, I felt my stomach drop when I read the part about lung irritation. I was also shocked to learn that it contained ethanol and other chemicals that could cause organ system toxicity. No thanks. It was then that I did my research and came across Jack 'n Jill Natural Toothpaste. Bingo.
Jack 'n Jill sent Ethan a couple tubes of toothpaste -- raspberry and blueberry -- to try out as well as this cute toothbrush with a sweet little hippo on the handle. This was actually fitting as we had just wrapped up H week in Tot School which meant we learned a lot about hippos, and Ethan was excited to have one on his new toothbrush. But what looks like an average toothbrush is a lot more. In fact, it's biodegradable and the handle will break down within ninety days in a typical compost. The bristles are made of nylon which is also recyclable. This is only a small glimpse into the heart of a fabulous company like Jack 'n Jill. They also sell finger and gum brushes for teeny-tiny little ones as well as biodegradable rinse cups made from bamboo and rice husks (that are all, of course, BPA and PVC free as well).
After our last "all natural" mishap, I was quick to identify all of the ingredients on the labels of the toothpastes by Jack 'n Jill. All ingredients on the label checked out, and boasted some other pretty awesome information:
These toothpastes are truly all-natural, fluoride free, color and dye free and preservative free. Since I brought up the EWG Skindeep database earlier, I should point out that Jack 'n Jill's natural toothpastes scored a 0 -- the best, safest rating possible! There are no tricky ingredients with hard to pronounce names, no chemicals that irritate the skin or lungs or aid in organ toxicity.
The first flavor Ethan wanted to try was the blueberry. I had read that the toothpaste was dye free, but I was still relieved when the gel came out clear. There was an undeniable scent of blueberry once Ethan started brushing, but it actually smelled like blueberries, not like an artificial fragrance. This is because Jack 'n Jill's toothpastes contain organic natural fruit flavors. (I was curious. I tasted some. Totally tastes like blueberries, too, and lacked the gritty, mealy feel of Ethan's last toothpaste!)
I also loved that these toothpastes contain organic calendula to help soothe sore gums. Any parent knows these little ones are always teething and, just like we use calendula to cool down irritated skin when a rash occurs, it's nice to think we're also able to cool down those sore gums a little bit.
Thanks to Jack 'n Jill, brushing remains a fun (and delicious, if you ask Ethan) time to teach our children the value of proper oral health without worrying about some unexpected consequences. I should also point out at only $6.99 per 1.76 ounce/50 gram tube, this price is either comparable to or significantly cheaper than a lot of other natural toothpastes on the market.
Of course, Jack 'n Jill's awesomeness doesn't stop there. They're offering one of my readers the chance to win the same products that Ethan happily reviewed! This giveaway is open until July 20th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck and happy brushing!
Ethan received these Jack 'n Jill products to facilitate a product review. No compensation was provided and all opinions expressed are completely my own.