oral care
Image: Courtesy of Better & Better

Here’s Why Oral Care is Self Care, According to an Expert

We interview the founder of Better & Better to find out more.

Oral care is a foundational form of self care. The mouth is where the digestive process begins. The mouth has a major impact on breathing, when we are awake and when we are sleeping. Good oral care has been linked to the prevention of numerous diseases, from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. So in many ways, good oral care makes other forms of self care possible. We interviewed Vladimir Vukicevic, CEO and Co-founder of Better & Better—a company that develops and sells personal care products that are fundamentally better for our health and for our environment—to find out why oral care is self care. Keep reading for more! 
oral care
Image: Courtesy of Better & Better

Here’s Why Oral Care is Self Care, According to an Expert

Is oral care self care and why?

Oral care is a foundational form of self care. The mouth is where the digestive process begins. The mouth has a major impact on breathing, when we are awake and when we are sleeping. Good oral care has been linked to the prevention of numerous diseases, from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. So in many ways, good oral care makes other forms of self care possible.

What is the connection to oral health and overall health? (i.e. your oral microbiome)?

The mouth has a direct connection to numerous organs – including the brain, the heart, and the full gastrointestinal system. It is the first point of prevention against various diseases and it is also the first point of contact for many nefarious bacteria and viruses. Good oral health has been linked to the prevention of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, various pregnancy complications, and other ailments.

And what is your oral microbiome?

The oral microbiome is the unique ecosystem that is active in the mouth. It includes the teeth, tongue, gums, cheeks, parts of the throat and nasal cavities. The oral microbiome also includes various microorganisms that live in the mouth – e.g. positive bacteria. The oral microbiome is where the digestive process begins and it is also where many protective actions begin – e.g. keeping out negative bacteria and viruses. The oral microbiome is sensitive to external disruption such as smoking and repeated brushing with toothpastes that may contain harmful ingredients.

What benefits do Better & Better’s toothpaste provide for oral health and overall wellness?

It begins with what we removed rom toothpaste. When we developed our toothpaste formula, we thoroughly examined what ingredients other toothpastes utilized. We realized that many other toothpastes – even those with “natural” branding – had meat products (e.g. animal-derived glycerin), chemical preservatives (e.g. sodium benzoate), artificial colors (e.g. titanium dioxide), industrial surfactants (e.g. sodium lauryl sulfate) and other potentially problematic ingredients.  All of these common ingredients can have negative effects on the oral microbiome and our overall health. First and foremost toothpaste should do no harm. By focusing on vegan, organic, and non-toxic ingredients, we developed a truly clean formula that ensures oral health in the best way possible.
On top of this pure formula, we are adding important micronutrients that have both a positive effect on oral health and our overall physical health. Vitamin B12 is essential for the nervous system, immunity, and proper healing. Vitamin B12 also treats canker sores and fosters overall mouth health. Vitamin D is essential for immunity, bone strength, and good mood. Lack of vitamin D has profoundly negative effects on tooth development and may lead to periodontitis and gingival inflammation. Every ingredient decision we make considers the full health picture.

Why is it important to get vitamins into your oral care routine? 

From immunity to good mood to physical fitness, vitamins are important for overall health. Most people already brush their teeth at least twice per day. But many people have difficulties remembering to take a pill. Making new habits is challenging and can be expensive. Some people have difficulty swallowing pills. Absorption of vitamins through the gastrointestinal system can cause stomach discomfort and often leads to limited results. We overcome all of these challenges. Our 2-in-1 toothpaste gives everyone the ability to have clean teeth and to receive a dose of vitamins through an existing, universal habit. We make good health both easy and efficient.

How are vitamins absorbed through your mouth? 

The human mouth is full of capillaries and absorbent tissue. The mouth can absorb nutrients via buccal and sublingual means. Buccal absorption happens through the lining of the mouth and sublingual is via the tissue under the tongue. This form of delivery has been utilized by doctors for decades to deliver various medications. In many ways, this form of nutrient delivery is superior to swallowing something because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system and the liver delivering nutrients directly into the bloodstream. It also removes the need for extra ingredients, like sugars and gelatins, that are used to make capsules and gummies. 
Vitamins can be absorbed through the buccal mucosa into the numerous capillaries and veins lying close to the tissue surface. Because toothpaste is used through brushing teeth in the mouth, it is active within the mouth for a substantial period of time. Most people brush their teeth two times per day. No swallowing of the toothpaste is needed. Adding energy-boosting and immune-boosting nutrients to toothpaste is ideal because a strong existing habit is made even better.
We work with a team of expert biochemists and formulators to develop and test our toothpaste formulas. Throughout the process, we’ve leveraged numerous scientific studies that show how vitamins can be absorbed directly through the mouth:
Meet Our Expert

Vladimir Vukicevic is an entrepreneur and expert in the world of consumer products. He has taught Fortune 500 companies how to build and leverage new businesses, has combined culture with management theory through his writing, and believes that innovation provides a new path to personal and global empowerment. Vladimir is the CEO and Co-founder of Better & Better—a company that develops and sells personal care products that are fundamentally better for our health and for our environment. Prior to co-founding Better & Better, Vladimir was the Co-founder of two successful startups, each acquired. The most recent, Meural—a platform that combines software and hardware to make art universally accessible—where he was also the CEO, was acquired in 2018 by NETGEAR. And prior to that, Vladimir’s first venture as Co-founder and CTO was RocketHub—a crowdfunding platform that helped thousands of entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists raise millions of dollars. RocketHub was acquired in 2015 by EFactor. Vladimir is an active supporter of various non-profit organizations—currently a board member of Theatre Within, and previously a board member of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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