We spoke with Dr Rhona, who along with fellow dentists Dr Simon Chard and Dr Adarsh Thanki, co-founded PÄRLA with a combined expertise to bring you sustainable, healthy toothpaste tabs with a mission to revolutionise the toothpaste industry. As October 7th also marks World Smile Day, discover the importance of looking after our oral health, so you can spread a smile and some good cheer.
Tell us about PÄRLA and what makes the brand unique
Did you know that every single toothpaste tube you ever used still exists somewhere on earth? 20 billion toothpaste tubes go to landfill or the ocean every single year. They take over 500 years to degrade. By 2050 it’s estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
I founded PÄRLA with 2 other leading cosmetic Dentists - Drs. Simon Chard and Dr. Adarsh Thanki - to be our eco-friendly solution to this never-ending story of destruction. Toothpaste should protect people’s smiles without harming the environment. PÄRLA means “pearl” in Swedish and represents the pearly white smile we endeavour to give to our patients and the pearls of the ocean that we feel a responsibility to protect.
Our mission is to create Oral Care for the Next Generation. Our toothpaste tab is plastic-free, zero-waste, and precisely doses professional-grade ingredients for a healthier, whiter smile. All of our packaging is fully sustainable and all of our toothpaste is 100% clean of SLS, Palm-Oil, Vegan, Gluten- Free and Animal Cruelty-Free. As Dentists we’ve developed everything to be as we would want to use ourselves - there’s just nothing else on the market like PÄRLA
We’ve been featured in Dragon’s Den, This Morning, Vogue, Tatler, GQ, and The Telegraph, won some awards and we couldn’t be more excited to bring John Bell & Croyden customers into our world.
How do toothpaste tablets work and how did you come up with the concept?
They’re super easy to use. Simply pop a PÄRLA - chew, wet your brush, and brush as normal. The water from the brush converts the tablet into toothpaste in your mouth.
Not only does it give you the perfect dose of clean, professional-grade ingredients, but there’s no mess, no waste, and being waterless, it’s perfect for travel.
Each jar contains 62 toothpaste tablets - so you have a month’s supply. You can then refill and reuse your beautiful jar endlessly. Every time you buy a PÄRLA you are keeping at least one plastic toothpaste tube from going to landfill or the ocean. It’s one small change, but if 8 billion people did it, there would be a lot less plastic waste being left for the next generation!
What are the benefits of using tablets in comparison to tubes?
The sustainability benefit is obvious. It takes 500 years for plastic toothpaste tubes to decompose. Even so called “recyclable” tubes are infrequently recycled and end up in landfill anyway. PÄRLA is plastic-free and zero-waste. In addition, we’ve removed Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), which is found in 95% of toothpastes. This is made from Palm Oil, which itself contributes 8% of the world’s deforestation, but also we’ve noticed as Dentists that many patients struggle with the harshness of SLS on the inner lining of their mouth. PÄRLA has a kinder, gentler, and cleaner foaming agent and we’ve personally sourced every single ingredient that goes into the product.
Can you tell us a bit about the two lines in the range?
PÄRLA ORIGINAL gives you everything you’d expect in a great quality Dentist- recommended toothpaste, only plastic-free. It contains the perfect dose of Fluoride in each tab together with a blend of 4 naturally-whitening stain removal agents. It’s Vegan, Animal-Cruelty Free, Gluten Free and Made in the UK.
PÄRLA PRO is our bestselling and flagship toothpaste - designed as the ultimate sustainable oral care product. In addition to the clean ingredients of PÄRLA ORIGINAL, PÄRLA PRO contains Hydroxyapatite, Potassium Citrate, and Vitamins B12 and E.
Hydroxyapatite is set to become the next big thing in oral care. Hydroxyapatite forms the building blocks of enamel so remineralises your teeth every time you brush. It’s anti-aging effect smooths the tooth’s surface, strengthening enamel by up to 65% and creating a high-gloss whitening effect.
Potassium Citrate works together with Hydroxyapatite to fight sensitivity, which 30% of the population suffer from.
In a world’s first, PÄRLA PRO contains Vitamins B12 and E, which help to boost your immune system as effectively as swallowing those vitamins in tablet form. The mouth has incredible absorbent properties and placing the vitamins in your toothpaste means they are delivered through the bloodstream much more efficiently and effectively. It works in a similar way to sublingual sprays.
What causes tooth sensitivity and how can toothpaste help fight against this?
Tooth sensitivity is among the common causes of a toothache. The phrase “tooth sensitivity” refers to tooth discomfort or feelings of toothache in one or more teeth. The pain of tooth sensitivity is usually sharp, sudden and shooting. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the layer of a tooth underneath the enamel (called the dentin) or the layer covering the root (called cementum) is exposed along the gum line due to receding gums. The exposed areas respond to hot and cold, and sometimes too sweet and spicy foods, and trigger pain.
Some factors which can contribute to tooth sensitivity include:
- Overzealous brushing: You can have too much of a good thing. Brushing your teeth with too much force, or with a hard-bristle toothbrush, may wear down tooth enamel, expose the cementum or dentin and cause tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth grinding: Grinding your teeth can cause the enamel to wear away and leave the dentin exposed.
- Dental cleanings or treatments.
- Temporary tooth sensitivity: which can occur after a professional teeth-whitening treatment, but usually goes away shortly after the procedure ends.
- Gum disease: Inflamed gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, leaving vulnerable areas exposed.
PÄRLA PRO has been designed to protect against and fight sensitivity with the combination of Fluoride, Hydroxyapatite, and Potassium citrate. The toothpaste soothes the nerves inside your teeth, preventing them from sending pain signals from sensitivity pain triggers such as a burst of cold air or hot coffee.
As we celebrate World Smile Day, how important is it that we take care of our oral health?
There’s increasing amounts of published scientific research on the links between oral health and whole body health. Your mouth is the start of your gut and if the balance of bacteria (good and bad) is not right in your mouth, that can affect the whole body.
Therefore, taking care of your oral health is absolutely key. Normally the body's natural defences and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
What is your best advice for maintaining good oral hygiene at home?
- First of all, spend the right amount of time - Brush twice a day everyday for two minutes.
- Second - clean your teeth AND your gums. The gum line is where bacteria can build up.
- Third - use a high-quality fluoride-based toothpaste tablet such as PÄRLA.
- Fourth - clean in between your teeth, for example, by flossing. Regular flossing can help remove food particles from around your teeth, as well as plaque that’s built up between your teeth.
All of these things will help remove plaque and protect your oral hygiene.