Natural Ingredients

Responding to natural demand for healthy teeth

Consumer demand for natural, sustainable and eco-friendly oral care products is at an all-time high, but so is the need for efficacy. Tanja Budde, head of innovation and technical marketing at Omya, explains how formulators can satisfy all of these requirements at the same time.


egan’, ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ are no longer claims that people just want to see on a carton of almond milk, a piece of fruit or a cup of coffee. These markers of natural wholesomeness are increasingly being sought out in personal care productstoo, including in toothpastes and mouthwashes. According to analysis of selected European markets by Mintel, 69% of consumers in Germany, Italy and Spain believe that oral care products should be more environmentally friendly, and 63% of consumers in France agree. Presenting at The Healthy Bite International Forum on Oral Care

Ingredients webinar held recently, Andrew McDougall, Global Associate Director for Beauty & Personal Care, Mintel Group, said the number one recommendation for brands at the moment is: “Meet natural demand”. Mintel global researchhas found that 63% of US oral care users have tried or are interested in trying natural oral care products; 58% of Vietnamese adults have replaced a regular product with a natural/organic version, and 60% of Chinese oral care users would choose a toothpaste with more natural ingredients, even if it had an unpleasant user experience. Of course, an unpleasant user experience is not something that any

company with an eye on success would want to deliver. And with today’s multifunctional natural oral care ingredients offering a range of benefits, including the ability to enhance a formulation’s texture and colour, it is something that never needs to happen.

Key concerns

As well as responding to consumer demand for more ethical and eco- friendly products, Mintel also suggests that manufacturers should target specific oral health concerns, including gum health. “Consumer awareness about gum health conditions seems to be high – an issue that increases in priority as consumers age,” says McDougall. Mintel research shows that 68% of Spanish oral care users have tried to improve their gum health using oral care products/methods; 53% of US oral care users have tried or are interested in trying gum-detoxifying treatments, and 42% of UK adults who buy toothpaste say that gum health is a key consideration when making a purchase. Gum disease is closely associated with dental hypersensitivity, an increasingly common condition that is being exacerbated by today’s lifestyle preference for tooth whitening procedures, as well as consumer consumption of fizzy drinks. Dental hypersensitivity is characterized by sharp, short pain that is triggered by certain stimuli. The most widely accepted theory (Brännström’s hydrodynamic theory) suggests that it is caused by the abrupt movement of fluid within the dentinal tubules in response to cold and heat (thermal), osmotic (eg eating sugary foods), mechanical (eg chewing) or evaporative stimuli (eg blasts of air). Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is now one of the fastest-growing categories. As can be seen in the table below, the number of toothpaste launches for sensitive teeth has risen substantially since 2015, but there is still vast scope for mouthwash launches to target this sector too.


Figure 1 Formulation matters

Formulating oral care products that respond effectively to current consumer requirements need not be difficult. As a specialist in natural calcium carbonate, Omya has spent many years researching and developing ingredients that can be used to create toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products that tie in perfectly with today’s consumer needs. The company’s multifunctional ingredients are scientifically proven, sustainably produced, natural and suitable for vegetarian and vegan branding. Omyadent 100 and Omyadent 200 are two functionalized ingredients that have been developed to target the problems of dental hypersensitivity and enamel remineralization in particular.Both arebased on a process of partial recrystallization to create new mineral compositions and structures with high porosity and novel functionalities.

Figure 2: High-purity Natural Calcium Carbonate

Functionalized Calcium Carbonate

The particles have a shell of hydroxyapatite – a calcium phosphate that is a major component of tooth enamel. This shell gives the ingredients exceptional affinity with the surface of the teeth, deliveringbetter acid resistance for improved protection against acidic food and drinks.

March/April 2021 • Issue 2

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