Posted by Bridget, Citizens’ Advocacy Representative
As a kid I was never into fruit or bubblegum flavors in my toothpaste. In fact, the mint flavor is the only thing I really remember about the toothpaste of my youth. My parents would occasionally buy factory seconds of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste while vacationing in Maine, but in general we used an unmemorable brand, in a muted blue color, and a flavor called simply, “mint”.
I now understand that not all mints are created equal. Peppermint oil, spearmint oil, and wintergreen oil all contribute to the mint flavor blends in our natural toothpaste. And yes, they really do taste different from each other.
And then there are the flavors that do not include any mint at all! It wasn’t until I started working for Tom’s of Maine that I realized not everyone is looking for mint. In fact, there is a population of people who not only prefer, but actually need mint free toothpaste. Some people are allergic to mint. Others find mint irritating to certain mouth conditions, including sensitivities or irritations brought on by cancer treatments. And others use homeopathic remedies, to which mint is considered an antidote.
Luckily Tom’s of Maine currently produces over thirty toothpaste varieties and mint free toothpaste options are included in the mix. These include our Fennel flavor in Propolis & Myrrh, and Antiplaque & Whitening, Cinnamon Clove Whole Care, and our Silly Strawberry and Orange Mango Children’s varieties. My favorite days to come to work are the days we produce the Children’s varieties and our whole facility smells fruity!
Even with my long history of prefering minty freshness, having all of these varieties available at my fingertips has lead to some experimenting… and some new favorites. You know how taking a swig of orange juice after brushing with a traditional flavored toothpaste can ruin your morning? That hasn’t been my experience when I’ve brushed with Silly Strawberry or Orange Mango! I’ve also found brushing with Cinnamon-Clove to be the perfect match for the dark roast coffee I drink on my morning commute.
My friends like to tease me for keeping five or six different toothpaste varieties next to my sink… but they just don’t know what I’ve recently learned. Options in toothpaste extend far beyond a nondescript label and generic “mint” flavor.