It is nearly impossible to find a natural mouthwash or a toothpaste free of flouride, triclosan and SLS in a local grocery story or drugstore. I’ve been searching for months. Ever since Kim wrote about switching to a natural mouthwash and why you might not want those three ingredients in your toothpaste, I decided to switch.
About a month ago, I was excited to hear a new brand called hello was launching a line of “seriously friendly” oral hygiene products in Walgreens, Target and Duane Reade. As soon as the Walgreens near me was stocked with hello products I was there to buy them.
hello isn’t the holy grail of oral hygiene, but in my opinion it’s a good natural, fairly priced, readily available option.
Both the toothpaste and mouthwash claim to be 99% natural and neither contain trioclosan, alcohol, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners and dyes. However, the lack of artificial sweeteners does not equate to an absence of artificial flavor, as I assumed when I read the marketing claims for the products, which is a good reminder of the importance of reading labels.
The toothpaste does have fluoride and SLS, but there is less than most other brands. The fluoride only makes up 0.24% of the formula while other brands have as much as 1.1%. I don’t know how much SLS is in the product, but since it claims to be 99% natural I figure the SLS makes up less than 1% of the product.
I was excited to try the hello products because they come in a bunch of intriguing flavors: supermint, pink grapefruit mint, mojito mint and sweet cinnamint.
Going from the Natural’s Dentist orange zest flavored toothpaste to the flavorful pink grapefruit mint was a little shocking at first but after a few days I was used it. I have no complaints about the hello toothpaste and prefer it to the Natural’s Dentist toothpaste which often left a funny aftertaste in my mouth.
The mouthwash is pleasant to use to and since it doesn’t have a safety cap it’s easy to open. The lack of a safety cap is a point of pride for hello, which claims the cap is not necessary because the product is not dangerous. The cap is also not your typical cap with markers indicating a proper usage amount. At first I tried to measure the mouthwash into the cap but the double circle design of the cap and the blunt end of the bottle made it messy. I ended up just swigging from the bottle.
After using the hello products for three weeks my mouth feels fresh and clean, my gums look great and I am happily recommending the products to friends and family.
hello products do not come in a box or other secondary packaging, so they get points there.
The mouthwash container is clearly labeled with a #1 recyclable symbol but the toothpaste container did not have any information. I emailed hello for details about the toothpaste container and within a few hours I got a reply. Not only were they incredibly quick to answer but most companies I email with questions regarding the recycling of their products never respond. This is a seriously friendly company.
The company says the body of the container, also called the tottle, is a #7 and the cap is #5. I can normally recycle both in my area but, according to the email, “the tottle is not readily recyclable in its current state, as is the norm among toothpaste brands, in order to protect the product inside.” I believe this refers to the fact that the tottle is lined with something that is not normally recyclable.