We had a chance to chat with Eric Buss, the founder of the forward-thinking and all-natural toothpaste Davids Toothpaste to learn more about how he got started and their mission for creating a better toothpaste for people and planet!
What is your inspiration for starting Davids Natural Toothpaste?
One evening I was looking at a tube of toothpaste, and was curious about the list of funny names included in the ingredient list, so started Google searching....it didn't take long to figure out that a lot of the ingredients were not great for you and controversial, so in that moment the idea of creating a better toothpaste was born. As I began diving deeper into studying the ingredients, it became a full-blown obsession to personally formulate the highest quality natural toothpaste available, so ended up spending 1000's of hours of research and development over a three-year period before launching in 2015.
What is the problem with top off-the-shelf brands and how does Davids compare to them?
Legacy Toothpaste brands commonly contain ingredients that many health-conscious consumers are actively looking to avoid. These legacy toothpaste products often contain artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and other synthetic ingredients.
Instead of using a long list of artificial/synthetic ingredients, Davids uses ingredients that are Naturally Sourced and Naturally Derived.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what you mean by “natural” toothpaste and your ingredients?
Because the FDA has not defined the term ‘natural’, we have established these guidelines in our efforts to remain transparent in our definition of natural as per the following:
Our Definition of Natural:
- Ingredients Sourced and Derived from Nature.
- Formulas Free of Artificial Flavors, Artificial Preservatives, Artificial Colors, and Artificial Sweeteners.
- Free from Animal Derived Ingredients (Vegan).
- Not Tested on Animals (Cruelty Free).
- Use of Sustainable Packaging.
Our naturally sourced ingredients are minimally processed or altered after being sourced from nature. An example of this would be our natural mint flavoring. The mint plant is grown on farms, then harvested and natural oils extracted through a steam distillation process. Yes, this requires processing, but the final product is a premium natural mint oil minimally altered from how the oil is found in the mint leaves prior to processing.
Other ingredients found in Davids are derived from nature but have gone through more extensive processing to create a higher level of safety or efficacy and have been modified from their original state. An example of this would be xylitol. In order for us to avoid the use of artificial sweeteners like saccharine, we use xylitol which is made from birch trees. The birch tree fibers undergo advanced processing which creates a final product of crystalline birch xylitol which looks like sugar (altered from its original state) but is commonly classified as a natural sweetener. Other ingredients found in Davids that are Naturally Derived include Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) and Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (Coconut Derived), and others.
Your toothpaste is fluoride-free. Can you tell us more about why you decided to go fluoride-free?
Fluoride is a strong chemical designed to do one main thing..... harden the enamel on your teeth. We all get some plaque that can build up on our teeth, and it's the bacteria in the plaque that works to eat though the enamel, and this is what causes cavities. Since plaque is what causes cavities, the #1 thing you can do to prevent cavities is to stop plaque formation, and Davids is an antiplaque formulation. The premium mint oil we use not only gives fresh breath, but is also designed to kill the bacteria in your mouth that forms plaque. The baking soda also works to kill the bacteria that forms plaque. The xylitol is a natural sweetener, but also works to kill the bacteria that forms plaque, so a number of things working all together to stop the plaque from forming. Davids also uses ultra-fine micro abrasives to polish the surface stains for natural whitening, but these also work to remove the biofilm that forms plaque, so a lot going on to make Davids an effective toothpaste without the need of using fluoride.
Sustainability is a big part of your mission. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
We take a more holistic approach to sustainability. Davids is focused on sustaining the environment through the packaging we use, sustaining the US economy and American jobs by using the highest possible content of USA Origin ingredients and packaging, and sustaining YOU and your health – by only using naturally sourced and derived ingredients.
When looking at toothpaste packaging alone, over 1 billion plastic tubes end up in US landfills each year and we wanted to do better, which is what prompted us to look for alternatives. We landed on the recyclable metal tube for its sustainability and also for its chic aesthetic. Also, the paperboard packaging we use is FSC Certified, meaning the paper pulp is certified as coming from forests that are responsibly managed, so sustainability is a big part of our ethos.
If you could give someone advice just starting their sustainability journey what would it be?
I would advise to have a mindset of progress over perfection. Each step of progress makes a difference, and allows for incremental mindful decisions to be made.
Do you have a favorite quote or go-to saying?
Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
What’s your favorite natural place to visit and why?
Point Lobos State Reserve just north of Big Sur in California is the closest place to heaven on earth. The natural scenic beauty is unmatched and puts me in a pure state of peace, the few times I’ve been, I’d recommend everyone to hike the full loop of this coastal point if you are ever in the Carmel/Big Sur area!
What’s next for Davids?
We do have some new products in the pipeline for 2021 but I will have to save that for later!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Earthlove Community?
A lot of people ask why our toothpaste is named Davids, since my name is Eric..... my middle name is David and didn't like how Eric's toothpaste sounded, so went with my middle name, plus is Davids vs. "Goliaths" of the toothpaste industry, so works that way too :)