Biting into a sugary chocolate bar may not be the best choice forhealthy teeth. But a Louisiana-based company is taking the stand that not all cocoa-based products are equal.
Theodenthas introduced thenew dental productcontaining a cocoa extract and other minerals that developers say strengthens and hardens tooth enamel.
The toothpaste, which was unveiled in January, is calledTheodentand it contains no fluoride. CEOArmanSadeghpoursaid the cocoa extract-based product will revolutionize the way people think about toothpaste.
“We want people to value the experience of brushing their teeth more,” he said. “They should care more about what they put in their mouths. Up till now it’s all been sodium fluoride or fluoride-based. We’ve been brushing our teeth twice a day with one of the most toxic elements in the periodic table.”
“It (cocoa) had the exact opposite effect (from whatNakamotoexpected),” saidSadeghpour. “It makes these units of crystal (of teeth) larger. That works to strengthen the enamel of the teeth.”
Sadeghpour’swork verified the possibilities for the extract when he tested the findings on human teeth. He made a direct comparison between the cocoa extract and fluoride and found that the cocoa extract enlarges the crystals that form the teeth, resulting in a stronger enamel. Fluoride strengthens enamel by attaching to it and incorporating itself into the tooth.
According toSadeghpour, Clifton Carey of the American Dental Association verified his results.SadeghpourandNakamoto, along with University of New Orleans professor William Simmons and Tulane School of Medicine assistant professor JosephFuselier, decided they could commercialize a product. They developed the proprietary mixture of cocoa and other minerals what are the active ingredients in the toothpaste, and foundedTheodent.
The paste, which sells for $9.99 a tube, has been introduced in 171 Whole Foods stores and dental offices throughout the country. The first batch of 6,252 tubes sold out in the first three weeks,Sadeghpoursaid.
Unlike what one might expect, the paste has a mint, not chocolate taste. The company wants to develop a sugar-free paste with a chocolate flavor to appeal to children.
“Kids really want it to taste like chocolate,”Sadeghpoursaid. “We’re in a position to provide them with that.”