Natural Flavor Toothpaste: The Tom's of Maine Mission

By Maureen Wise in Thinking Sustainably

Tom's of Maine customers tend to be thoughtful about choosing health and beauty products. You probably read labels and study the ingredient lists on all your family's purchases—toothpaste included—to be sure that the products you bring home are safe, gentle, and kind to the Earth. If you're in the market for a new natural flavor toothpaste, what do you need to look for? And what exactly are natural flavors?

essential oil dropper next to a plant with a bowl of oil and a plant

What Makes a Flavor Natural?

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), natural flavoring is the final product—such as an essential oil, extract, or distillate—derived from a range of plant and animal materials, including spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs, barks, buds, and roots. While natural flavoring may come from nutrient-rich sources, its function isn't nutritional. In a nutshell, natural flavors are the essences of natural products.

Artificial flavoring is the opposite. Rather than being made from natural substances, the FDA explains that artificial flavors are usually created in a lab to mimic natural flavors. According to the Environmental Working Group, the molecules of natural flavors and artificial flavors may be exactly the same. Because the chemical structures may be no different, the source is what sets these types of flavorings apart.

Natural Flavor Toothpaste: What's In It?

When it comes to adding natural flavor to toothpaste, there are many plant sources that offer fantastic flavors, including cinnamon, fruits, and even spices—such as fennel in Tom's of Maine Propolis and Myrrh Toothpaste. But what else goes into your naturally flavored toothpaste? Here is a sample list of some other flavor additives that you may see on your toothpaste ingredient label:

  • Mentha piperita oil (peppermint oil)
  • Menthol
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Citrus aurantium dulcis peel oil (orange peel oil)
  • Eugenia caryophyllus bud oil (clove bud oil)
  • Vanillin
  • Fragaria ananassa fruit juice (strawberry juice)
  • Mentha viridis leaf oil (spearmint leaf oil)
  • Foeniculum vulgare oil (fennel oil)

Tom's of Maine provides a full flavoring disclosure list for transparency to help customers understand where the flavors and other additives in their products come from. In addition to toothpaste, Tom's of Maine uses many of these same substances to add scents to their soaps, natural deodorants, and antiperspirants.

Being able to recognize (and pronounce) the words on your product labels can help to ease your mind and give you confidence in knowing what you're putting on your body—and where it comes from. For many of us, choosing products with easily identifiable, well-known substances and extracts simply feels better. Ingredient transparency is also crucial for those with allergies and other food sensitivities.

cinnamon sticks and pieces among powered cinomon on wooden grey boards

Why Tom's of Maine Chooses Natural First

The Tom's of Maine mission is just four short words: "Do Good. For Real." Focused on harnessing and protecting the power of nature for the health of future generations, Tom's of Maine has been a leader in natural products from the time it was founded by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970.

Tom's of Maine is a Certified B Corporation, which means they meet the highest social and environmental standards. From the beginning, they've strived to use their business as a force for good, treading lightly on the planet, avoiding animal testing, and being kind to people. They support communities and grassroots organizations, donating 10 percent of their profits to promote health, education, and environmental issues. They also encourage employees to use a portion of their paid work time to volunteer in their local communities.

Tom's of Maine works hard to be good to people and to the planet, so the choice to use naturally derived flavors and fragrances in their products comes, well, naturally. They believe that natural ingredients are both higher quality and kinder to the Earth.

If you're looking for other ways to live your life in a more Earth-friendly manner, check out these tips on how to recycle plastic bags to help reduce waste.

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The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Making informed choices about your oral health and the flavors that support it can empower you to align the products that you use with your personal values.