Product highlights — neem oral care
We get a lot of questions about how to use neem oral care – probably because there are so many options available. Neem chew sticks are popular, neem toothpowder is consistently among our top-selling products, neem toothpaste is a common choice and neem mouthwash is one of our personal favorites.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of each so you can decide which works best for you!
When we first started selling chew sticks, it was almost entirely to people who had grown up in India or Africa and used them as children. Over the past few years, though, we’ve planted several hundred more neem trees specifically for the sticks because they’ve become so popular in neem oral care. One randomized clinical trial published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences actually shows that chew sticks are more effective than toothbrushes and paste.
They’re in particularly high demand among people who are avoiding plastic and other un-natural substances, as well as people who commute for many miles daily. While I haven’t seen any research on it, we hear that using neem chew sticks is calming — besides the benefits of neem oral care — if you’re regularly stuck in traffic.
There’s also a growing group of parents of autistic children who are using neem chew sticks. Doctors often recommend plastic toys for autistic children because they may chew inappropriate objects – like clothes and furniture – and parents report that they typically learn to deal with the bitter taste quickly. (Some anecdotal reports also indicate that it may help autistic children with stomach issues as well.)
Neem bark tooth powder was the first product we formulated nearly 20 years ago with an enormous amount of help from an international group of herbalists. While neem bark powder is the first ingredient, neem tooth powder tastes more like cinnamon and cloves, making it our first recommendation for neem oral care.
We selected cinnamon and cloves because they’ve traditionally been used for teeth and gums – and they really dominate the taste. It also contains baking soda (also traditionally used to whiten teeth) and diatomaceous earth, aka DE. The DE is the latest addition to the formula and we selected it because it contains high levels of silica and calcium which help teeth remineralize so they are stronger and less sensitive.
We also make a version of neem tooth powder with peppermint essential oil for people who don’t like cinnamon or cloves.
Toothpaste, of course, is the first thing most people think of when they consider neem oral care, but we sell far less of it than our other products. Part of that is competition – lots of companies sell neem toothpaste – but none of them have neem as their first ingredient. If you’re most comfortable with sweet toothpastes that fizz, you’ll like neem toothpaste best even if we don’t think it’s the most effective option.
Anytime you talk to professional herbalists about oral care, you probably hear the ongoing controversy about the benefits (and downfalls) of using alcohol or glycerin in mouthwash. High levels of alcohol – up to more than 25% in some commonly used mouthwashes – may cause dry mouth for some people. Glycerin, on the other hand, is actually a sweet oily substance that tends to coat teeth.
We’ve chosen to use about 8% (diluted as shown in the directions) because we think it’s a superior extraction method for the active ingredients needed for neem oral care. We’ve been making – and using – neem mouthwash with alcohol for nearly 20 years and haven’t seen or heard of any problems with dry mouth because we’ve kept the percentage of alcohol down so significantly.
Please let us know what you think!
As always, we’re open to comments, suggestions and reports from customers. Plus, we’re wrapping up a new column for Neem in the News with results of amazing work being done around the world on neem and oral care that should post soon at https://neemtreefarms.com/?p=20723&preview=true.