“The toothpaste aisle is the worst.”

There are only like two toothpaste companies and they make about 1,000 different types. The Crest and Colgate racks are clearly delineated by their conveniently — maybe too conveniently — recognizable color patterns. Each of Crest’s 500 toothpaste varieties comes inside a box that is some shade of blue. Colgate is red and white, whether the product is best at removing plaque, stopping gingivitis, whitening your teeth or some type of new breath-freshening innovation that could even do something special like combat coffee stains or help you stop smoking cigarettes.

Why the [bleep] are there so many different types of toothpaste, seriously?


And that’s just talking about the kinds you might find in your nearest drug or big box store. Then there are all the “natural” pastes, powders, and tabs available in organic markets, body care shops, online, and at your dentist’s office. There are even “luxury” toothpastes. (Yes, really.)

And now another has entered the market.

At the recent meeting of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine, we received samples of a couple products from a new company called Frau Fowler: a tooth powder and a tube of tablets described as a “breath freshener and mouth cleanser.”

The story behind the company is a rather interesting one, which apparently started with a trip to a biological dentist that helped turn its founder’s health around:

The tabs we received were the “Fire Spice” flavor – that “fire” coming courtesy of a blend of cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and cardamom oils. All of these are known antimicrobials that have proven effective against common oral bacteria.

Sur'Se oral health tabsThey also contain stevia and xylitol, zero-calorie sweeteners that seem to be protective against decay.

The other key ingredients are sea salt and Himalayan pink salt. Not only does salt help reduce oral pathogens by creating a more alkaline environment in the mouth; it also delivers trace minerals that, unlike fluoride, your teeth actually need.

Trying the product, we found that the lozenges crumble easily and cleanly, seeming to leave no debris on or between the teeth. The taste is strong, pleasant, and refreshing.

Truth be told, this is actually a pretty neat idea. While it’s no replacement for proper brushing and flossing, it could be a help when you’re on-the-go and not able to do your whole hygiene routine relatively soon after eating.

There are other flavors available – Berry Good, Pom Chill, Birch Chill, and Peppermint Chamomile – which contain other botanicals known to support good oral health, though a couple also contain the somewhat mysterious ingredient “natural flavor.”

Frau Fowler Mouth Medic Tooth PowderThe tooth powder we tried out contained the same botanical blend as the Fire Spice tabs, along with the same salts and baking soda. Here, we found that less was better than the “generous” amount that the instructions recommend. “Generous” was a little overwhelming – at least at first. Maybe it was the unfamiliarity of brushing with a salt-based powder that made it seem a little too intense.

Still, just a light coating on the brush seems sufficient. After all, the main reason for a tooth paste or powder or tab is to provide a bit of abrasion to help remove sticky biofilm (plaque) from your teeth. Anything else it provides – minerals, botanicals, probiotics – is extra. The mechanical action of brushing is what does most of the work.

Here, too, we found the overall flavor pleasant and refreshing, and the faint lingering flavor of salt afterward produced a natural feeling of cleanliness. That said, if you’ve only brushed with minty, foaming pastes before, it might feel a bit odd at first and take some getting used to.

Like the tabs, the powders come in several flavors, including Orange Love, Licorice Mint, Power Mint, and Citrus Mint. They also have a blend with activated charcoal for whitening. The oil blends differ, but all make sense for supporting oral health.

All products are fluoride-free and gluten-free. Most ingredients are organic.

All in all, these seem to be good quality products for home hygiene at a reasonable price. We can’t say that we see a big reason to switch, especially if you like what you’re using now and it’s working for you. But if you’re looking to try something new, Frau Fowler seems a brand worth trying out.

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