Oral Care FAQs


1. Range

What % natural are ecostore oral care products?
ecostore toothpaste is 100% made from plant and mineral based ingredients.

ecostore mouthwash is over 96% plant and mineral based ingredients. The reason the mouthwash % is lower than the toothpaste is due to the safe food-grade nature-identical preservatives we use to preserve the formulation. This means that the preservatives are synthetically produced but are chemically identical to potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate found in nature.


2. Ingredients we use

What is magnolia bark extract?
A natural extract shown to support oral health.

What is Kanuka oil?
Harvested from the NZ native plant, Kanuka. Shown to have antibacterial properties. For centuries, the native Maori people of New Zealand have used Manuka and Kanuka as a healing agent in teas, poultices, infusions and inhalations to relieve pain and inflammation, heal wounds and treat everything from fevers and fractures to tummy troubles and skin irritations.

What is Propolis?
Propolis, also known as bee glue, is a natural nontoxic resinous sticky substance produced by honeybees through mixing the secretions of their hypopharyngeal glands with the digested product of resins collected from leaves, flowers of plants, trees, and certain barks, which is used as a sealant and sterilizer in honeybee nests. It is dark green or brown in color. Traditionally this ingredient has been used for its antibacterial and anti inflammatory and healing properties. It also provides a unique taste to our toothpaste.

Why is baking soda used in the whitening toothpaste?
Baking soda is an alkaline substance capable of neutralizing acids. As such, it prevents tooth decay by neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. It also neutralizes acidic components of common teeth staining chemicals - such as the colour in tea and red wine, and lessens their staining effect. Baking soda is one of the least abrasive forms of teeth cleaning, and does not harm enamel as much as abrasive substances in some toothpastes such as silica.

What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants and used in our toothpaste primarily as a flavour. It also has the benefit of preserving the product. Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. It does this because these bacteria cannot utilize xylitol to grow.


3. Ingredients we leave out

What is fluoride?
Sodium fluoride (NaF) is a chemical compound. NaF is prepared by neutralizing hydrofluoric acid or hexafluorosilicic acid, by products of the reaction of fluorapatite from phosphate rock during the production of superphosphate fertilizer.

What does fluoride do?
Fluoride has 2 functions:
1) Protecting the teeth from acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. These acids can erode tooth enamel and damage your teeth.
2) Strengthen and repair enamel through “remineralisation” of weak spots.

Why doesn’t ecostore use fluoride?
1) Some consumers are worried about the risk of fluoride.
2) Fluoride is produced through a chemcial process so is not a sustainable raw material and doesn’t adhere with ecostore’s environmental values. There is currently no plant derived alternative to fluoride.

What is triclosan?
Triclosan is an ingredient added to many personal care products including toothpaste, mouthwashes and soaps as an ‘antimicrobial’ to kill off bacteria and other microbes. Triclosan has been shown to be very irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. It is slow to biodegrade and is also toxic to and can bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. There is concern about many chronic health effects of triclosan, including hormone disruptance, immune system effects, developmental and fertility effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have banned its use in antibacterial soaps in the US. It is still used in many products available for sale across the counter in NZ. We do not use triclosan in any of our products.

What is SLS?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a detergent and surfactant widely used in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwashes, bodywash and soaps - used to make products foam. SLS has been found to be irritating to skin.

What is BPA?
An industrial chemical used to make plastics and resins. Exposure to BPA has been linked to negative health effects on the brain, behaviour and reproductive organs.

What is PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. When PVC is burned a toxic chemical, Dioxin, is released.

What are pthalates?
Phthalates are carcinogenic chemicals often used in plastics to make them flexible.

What is sodium saccharin?
An artificial sweetener.


4. Toothbrushes

What plants are the toothbrushes made from? (99% made from plants)
Castor bean, also known as castor oil plants.

What is the remaining 1%?
1% is the colour which contains pigments that are not bio based.

What are the bristles made out of?
60% renewable castor oil and 40% nylon. We are working on developing bristles which are made from 100% renewable content and will make the change as soon as this option is up to our quality standards.

Is the toothbrush recyclable?
No. Most toothbrushes are not recyclable because of the multiple components to the brush - handle, bristles and staples which cannot be easily seperated to go through curbside recycling schemes. ecostore has designed it’s own recycling scheme in order to recycle its oral care products - go to ecostore.co.nz/recycle for more info.

What is the toothbrush packaging made out of?
The cardboard is made with 83% recycled paper. The plastic is made with 50% recycled plastic.

Is the packaging recyclable?
Yes. Separate the card from the plastic to recycle.


5. Toothpaste

How does the whitening toothpaste whiten teeth?
The toothpaste uses baking soda as gentle abrasive to reduce stains and whiten teeth.

What is the flavour?
All variants are mint - using natural essential oils peppermint, spearmint and clove leaf.

Does the toothpaste have a preservative?
It does not have any specific preservative added. A combination of essential oils and other ingredients (including xylitol) helps to prevent microbial contamination.

Is the toothpaste sugar free?
Yes. The toothpastes use the natural sweetener Stevia.

What is the shelf life?
3 years.

Is the toothpaste tube recyclable?
No. The toothpaste tube has a laminated barrier for protection because of the strength of the natural essential oils (flavour) in the product, and the barrier helps to prolong the product’s shelf life. Unfortunately the aluminium and plastic needs to be separated which current recycling programs in NZ cannot collect. You can send it back to us! ecostore is collecting our oral care waste to recycle ourselves. Visit ecostore.co.nz/recycle for more info.

Have you tested the product’s performance? How do you know it works?
We conducting the following efficacy testing on our toothpaste to ensure it worked:

1) There are four main bacteria found in the human mouth: Streptococcus sanguis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actynomyces viscosus and Streptococcus mutans. Our product has been shown to be effective in reducing the populations of these bacteria which are associated with plaque and tartar build up. Testing was carried out by an independent lab.
(Antimicrobial study 2018, Eurofins Australia)

2) Our toothpaste has been shown to be effective in reducing the build-up of plaque.
(In Vitro Plaque Growth Inhibition Study 2018, Intertek UK)

Is the toothpaste GE free?

Is the toothpaste gluten free?

Is the toothpaste dairy free?

Is the toothpaste Kosher?
No - unfortunately the factory which produces the toothpaste is not Kosher certified.

Is the toothpaste vegan?
Yes, except the propolis variant which comes from bees.

Can my kids use the toothpaste?


6. Mouthwash

Does the mouthwash have a preservative?
Yes. Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. These are both safe food-grade nature-identical preservatives.

Is the mouthwash sugar free?
No - we use sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and occurs naturally in apples, pears, berries and other fruits.

What is the bottle made out of?
Sugarcane (Carbon Capture™ plastic).

Is the bottle recyclable?

Have you tested the product’s performance? How do you know it works?
There are four main bacteria found in the human mouth: Streptococcus sanguis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actynomyces viscosus and Streptococcus mutans. Our product has been shown to be effective in reducing the populations of these bacteria which are associated with plaque and tartar build up. Testing was carried by an independent lab. (Antimicrobial study 2018, Eurofins Australia)

What is the shelf life of the mouthwash?
2 years.

Is the mouthwash GE free?

Is the mouthwash gluten free?

Is the mouthwash dairy free?

Is the mouthwash Kosher?
No - unfortunately the factory which produces the mouthwash is not Kosher certified.

Is the mouthwash vegan?

What is the cap made from?
Standard HDPE (recyclable).


7. Recycling program (NZ only)

What products are not recyclable through kerbside collection?
Toothpaste tube and toothbrush.

Want to recycle? Here’s what to do.
1) Collect your empty ecostore toothpaste tubes and used ecostore toothbrushes.
2) Pop them in a standard envelope (make sure they’re clean and dry) and send to our freepost address (visit ecostore.co.nz/recycle).
3) Post the used tubes and toothbrushes back to us. We’ll turn them into something useful like a spanner for our 20L containers.
4) You can also drop them off. Look out for collection stands and brown paper bags nationwide collecting used tubes and toothbrushes. Look out for the ecostore branded boxes at different collection points (visit ecostore.co.nz/recycle).

What do you do with the toothbrushes?
Here is what will happen to the toothbrushes, once they are returned:
1. Bristles are removed and handles are stored until sufficient weight is available for moulding.
2. Toothbrush handles are ground into chips.
3. The chips are moulded into spanners used to open our 20L containers, bringing the plastic from the toothbrushes back into the supply chain and reducing our reliance on virgin materials.

What will you do with the toothpaste tubes?
We will hold the tubes for the time being and if we can’t find a suitable recycling technology to separate the different layers of the tube ourselves in the near future, we will link into existing specialist recycling schemes.