Recently I came across Dentisse Premium Oral Care, a new line created by two “dental scientists” (though I can’t for the life of me find any information on who these people are). Still, I was struck by the main ingredients used in the Natural Reflection Toothpaste: kaolin clay and bentonite clay.

TIA has mentioned both substances in articles before, but never in regard to dental care. According to the Dentisse website, kaolin is a safe polishing and whitening agent while bentonite gives the toothpaste its creamy texture. According to the EPA, kaolin is a known ingredient in toothpaste and is not expected to be harmful to humans. The FDA defines bentonite and kaolin as hydratable aluminum silicates, and notes that “very little, if any” amounts of both substances are absorbed after oral administration.

So the clays are safe, but are they effective in your toothpaste? Bentonite is mentioned on several “natural” websites, especially in the DIY context. Kaolin is also mentioned on many sites, and in a book by Dorie Byers called Natural Beauty Basics. She claims that the clay is a natural whitening agent, but that it shouldn’t be used more than once a week in order to avoid damaging your enamel.

Things get a bit complicated at this point; every website seems to convey a different opinion on aluminum silicates in toothpaste. Some say that kaolin alone is not a good idea, as it is far too abrasive. However, the American Dental Association claims that mild silicates are commonly found in toothpastes and are good for removing “debris and residual surface stains.”

Another thing to consider is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which is based on the ability of one material to scratch another. Kaolin and bentonite are both ranked in the 2 – 2.5 range, whereas tooth enamel is ranked at 5. That means that the clays should not be able to scratch teeth. Plus, the Dentisse website claims that the kaolin in its toothpaste does not scrape teeth harshly the way that other abrasives do.

As Dentisse is so new, there aren’t a whole lot of reviews on its toothpaste. But the few that I found were positive. Is it worth the $16.99 price tag? I think it’s a little expensive for a toothpaste, but if you are interested in exploring the usage of more natural ingredients like clays, then it may be worth it – especially if it does indeed whiten your teeth in two weeks, as the website promises. One thing worth mentioning is that the ingredients listed below are taken from the Dentisse website, and don’t seem to be definitively listed in order of quantity.

Kaolin clay, bentonite clay, peppermint, purified water, sorbitol, vegetable glycerin, cellulose gum, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium citrate, sucralose

*Formulas contains no saccharin, preservatives, animal ingredients or artificial colors or flavors