This is my personal review for the RiseWell toothpaste after having used and tested it. I’ll tell you my subjective thoughts as well as the hard objective scientific facts about this new oral care product.
Hopefully, this product review will help you in making your decision on whether or not this is the right toothpaste for you.
Disclosure: I, Dr David Chen (general dentist) have no affiliation nor any financial interests with risewell. I’m currently doing personal research on hydroxyapatite toothpastes and this is the third one on my hit list. I must say, it’s been a fun journey so far!
Brief history of RiseWell
RiseWell started when a husband and wife duo, John Estrada and Kori, were undergoing the IVF process to start a family. Their doctor told them to be as healthy as possible which included what they ate and also the ingredients in their personal care products.
They had to re-evaluate all aspects of their life but when it came to conventional oral care, most toothpastes had a lot of undesirable ingredients in them. When they consulted Kori’s brother (Dr Derek Gatta) who was a dentist, they found out that all natural toothpastes in the US were, “as effective as water”. Thus, they went out to explore alternative options.
Comment: I wholeheartedly agree with that statement since all natural toothpastes without fluoride can’t reverse cavities!
According to Kori, on one of their trips to Japan, they picked up a lot of japanese toothpastes at a convenience store and noticed a lot of them contained hydroxyapatite. It was an alternative to fluoride that could still remineralize teeth!
That was the start of how the three of them co-founded RiseWell together.
Features of their new toothpaste
- Fluoride free
- Powered by hydroxyapatite
- 100% clean ingredients (safe enough to eat!)
- No harmful ingredients
- Sulfate free (No sodium lauryl sulfate)
- No artificial flavors
- No dyes
- No propylene glycol
- Antiplaque and naturally whitening
You can purchase the toothpaste directly from their website, amazon, or any other online distributor for about $12 for a 4 oz (114 g) tube. Risewell also has a “PRO” version of the toothpaste which has more hydroxyapatite in it (micro and nano hydroxyapatite) for an eye popping $22 per tube.
The toothpaste came in a fun orange box with large friendly lettering on it. Their orangeness really jived with me since afterva uses a similar color scheme and is quite orange as well.
Upon unboxing, the tube did come with tamper-proof packaging which is evident once you remove the cap. With the cap off, you can see that it is sealed with a small metal foil. The foil is there to keep the contents fresh and also to let you know that it’s been unused.
The foil was easy to peel off and did not give me any trouble at all. Some other products seal theirs so tight that it even becomes adult-proof. You won’t have that issue with this.
I do like how the risewell toothpaste looks and also how it felt in my hands. Right off the bat you can tell that it is a more premium product than your run of the mill fluoride toothpaste.
The toothpaste tube looks more fancy than regular old toothpaste. It has a clean look and is fairly minimalistic at least in my opinion. Large fonts that look welcoming and friendly.
Although if you compare it to the Boka Ela Mint toothpaste, it doesn’t look quite as luxurious as it. The plastic tubing for the boka looks and feels more sleek than the risewell.
Although what I do really like about it is that the entire tube of toothpaste stands upright. That is a big welcome change from conventional toothpaste which often lay flat. The fact that it stands vertically does help you save space. It just gives it a “cleaner” look.
The texture of the plastic tube also feels pretty good in my hand. When compared to a colgate one that I had, this one felt more durable. It also doesn’t wrinkle or crease after you squeeze it.
You know how regular toothpastes look like they’ve been all beaten up by the time you get halfway through it? This one will hold up shape as you use it.
A perk for having the tube stand upright is that it allows gravity to pull the paste down on its own. You don’t have to go squeezing it to milk every last drop of it when you get close to finishing. This toothpaste ain’t cheap so you definitely do want to get everything out of it.
We’ve provided a full list of the ingredients in the risewell mineral toothpaste. Overall the ingredients appear natural and we can’t find any particular faults with any of their choices.
- Hydroxyapatite – Used to repair and protect your teeth. It will also decrease sensitivity as well as make your teeth appear whiter.
- Calcium carbonate – Very mild abrasive for natural whitening.
- Silica – whitening abrasive
- Glycerin – To prevent toothpaste from drying out but also sweetens it.
- Xanthan Gum – provides body so that it can be squeezed and pumped.
- Potassium cocoate – a natural alternative to SLS, helps to lather the toothpaste. It is derived from coconut oil
- Cellulose gum – thickener to make the toothpaste non-watery
- Propanediol – used as a solvent for the sweeteners in this toothpaste
- Sodium gluconate – helps to improve the “lathering” ability
- Mentha piperita essential (peppermint oil)
- Mentha arvensis (wild mint) oil
- Illicium Verum (Anise)
- Thymus vulgaris (thyme)
- Stevia Rebaudiana Extract – Natural sweetener and sugar substitute.
- Xylitol – Natural sugar alcohol used for flavoring but it also has cavity preventative effects.
- Erythritol – natural sweetener, same properties as xylitol
- Bark extract
- Citrus aurantium dulcis (oral peel) oil
- Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon)
- Citrus limon (lemon) peel oil
- Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil
- Eucalyptus globulus extract – essential oil
What it’s like using Risewell toothpaste
After using the risewell mineral toothpaste, my teeth felt clean and my mouth didn’t feel dried out. Both of these sensations were pretty much on par with the other hydroxyapatite toothpastes that I’ve used.
I guess the most noticeable difference to me would be their flavoring and taste which I’ll explain below.
Immediately after I dispensed the Risewell toothpaste onto my philips sonicare toothbrush, what I noticed was the color of it. This toothpaste is an opaque white but it has a slight hint of yellow to it. Maybe you can call it eggshell?
The slight yellow color is very subtle… perhaps you may not even notice it at all. It’s certainly a departure from the Boka toothpaste which looked almost translucent!
This toothpaste smells minty but the mint isn’t so overpowering that it’ll singe your nose hair. That is consistent with the fact that it does contain wild mint, peppermint and menthol.
However, I must say that it does have a very slight herbal smell to it. That may be attributed to the orange, cinnamon, tea tree, lemon, and thyme extract in it.
It does taste minty and I did get a waft of mint that traveled to the back of my throat and slightly up my nose. Despite that, I still wouldn’t say that it is extremely minty by any means.
If I had to rate it, it’s less minty and less powerful than a breath mint. So if you’re not a big fan of mint, I think you’d still do okay with this.
Although I must say that there is a slight herbal taste to it. The mint flavor is stronger than it but the herbalness reminds me a little of herbal tea. However, my significant other says that the flavor is more of an orange and cinnamon taste.
To each their own right? It has an herbal quality to it at least to me. I attribute that quality to the fact that it’s full of essential oils in there. I think it has more than some of the other natural toothpastes.
Since it lacks sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), there isn’t a lot of foaming action when you’re brushing with it. Due to the lack of foaming it gives you less of a mouthfeel. It tends to thin out as you’re brushing since it’s SLS-free but that is to be expected.
However, that didn’t make my teeth feel any less clean nor did it require additional toothpaste while I was brushing. The one perk of it having no SLS is that it is less drying on your mouth so it doesn’t aggravate canker sores if you’re prone to them.
I like to do the upside down toothbrush test to evaluate the consistency and how it holds up. When I did it, it did not drip off the toothbrush head so it’s good enough in my book.
Benefits to using RiseWell toothpaste
The risewell toothpaste is fluoride free and they claim that its made with all ingredients that you can trust. It trades the fluoride for hydroxyapatite (HAP) which may sound foreign but it is by no means alien to the human body.
Our bones and teeth are literally composed of hydroxyapatite (HAP) [Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2]. It is often referred to as bone mineral or tooth mineral and is essentially composed of the minerals calcium and phosphates.
The toothpaste isn’t made of ground up teeth but uses a synthetic nano sized version of hydroxyapatite. You can think of it as a synthetic enamel paste.
Anyway, the main point that we’re trying to get across is that this product is a remineralizing toothpaste because it contains hydroxyapatite. All of its anti-cavity benefits along with a couple of other perks are derived from the inclusion of HAP in its formulation.
We will be giving a brief overview of what nano-hydroxyapatite can do for your teeth. You should check out our comprehensive guide on nHAP if you want to learn more in depth.
Repairs teeth by reversing small cavities
Hydroxyapatite can repair enamel and reverse small cavities by remineralizing the demineralized tooth structure.
The first stage of tooth decay is demineralization, which is when the tooth loses minerals. Hydroxyapatite toothpastes can reverse this process by adding minerals back into it. Essentially you can repair your tooth simply by brushing with this toothpaste.
Since our teeth are literally made of hydroxyapatite, risewell toothpaste which contains it can repair the tooth directly. It does so by inserting the HAP directly into the demineralized parts of the tooth.
Hydroxyapatite can protect your teeth from acidic insults by forming a sacrificial barrier which also serves as a mineral reservoir.
Since HAP is the same substance as our enamel, it is highly biocompatible and will bond to it. Brushing with it will often form a synthetic layer of enamel that covers over and protects your teeth. You can also think of it as a sacrificial layer because when you eat sweets or acidic foods, it will be the first layer to dissolve and not your enamel.
The dissolution of this protective layer will leave the enamel underneath unscathed. What also occurs is that when the synthetic layer dissolves, it releases the minerals calcium and phosphates which can be used for further remineralization.
- These minerals can be used to remineralize your teeth.
- The phosphate can also act as a buffer by decreasing the acidity in your mouth. Studies have shown that phosphate is one of the buffering systems in the mouth.
Due to the release of calcium and phosphates, you can also think of this protective layer as a reservoir for minerals. It serves a dual purpose and both of them provide a wondrous effect for our teeth.
Decreases teeth sensitivity
Toothpastes with HAP can reduce teeth sensitivity by occluding open dentinal tubules.
Individuals with chronic dentin hypersensitivity often have wide open tubule orifices or enlarged ones. This is in contrast to people without any sensitivity, who have natural smear plugs which block all of the orifices.
When there are no smear plugs and the tubules are open, you’ll have a propensity towards being sensitive. External stimuli can enter into the tubules and either interact with the nerve or components within it. The ultimate result is pain or discomfort.
How the hydroxyapatite works in reducing the symptoms is by inserting itself into all of the tubules. Brushing with it over time will eventually occlude nearly all of the tubules, thus effectively blocking stimuli.
Yes, studies have shown that using it can reduce teeth whitening sensitivity. The study compared whitening with HAP and without it. Of course the one that used hydroxyapatite had less sensitivity. If you normally have sensitive teeth, you should consider switching to this.
Studies have shown that hydroxyapatite can reduce plaque formation on the enamel surfaces.
It acts as more of an anti-adhesive rather than an antibacterial in reducing plaque. That means it does not “kill” the bacteria but merely prevents them from sticking to your enamel.
The two mechanisms via how it controls plaque:
- The hydroxyapatite can directly bind to the bacteria.
- It also binds to the enamel pellicle receptors, thus preventing bacteria from binding to it.
Essentially, when you brush with this, it covers over the entire tooth thus leaving no space for the bacteria to attach to your tooth. The result of this is less plaque on your enamel surface.
Makes your teeth appear whiter
This toothpaste won’t whiten your teeth chemically but it can make them appear whiter.
How nanohydroxyapatite makes your teeth appear whiter is by turning the surface smoother and glossier. This has to do with how it remineralizes your teeth by inserting itself into demineralized regions.
Since it fills in all of the voids, it makes the tooth smoother which is why a lot of patients reported a “smoothness” feeling from using it. The hydroxyapatite is naturally whitish in color so you essentially see a layer of whiteness over your teeth.
Safe to use
Most importantly, hydroxyapatite based toothpastes are very safe to use with practically very little side effects. It is highly biocompatible and biomimetic since it is identical to what our teeth and bones are made of.
In fact, nothing bad happens if you happen to swallow it because it simply dissolves into calcium and phosphate. If you ingest it, the stomach acids will break it down.
- Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 + 8 H+ → 10 Ca2+ + 6 HPO42- + 2 H2O
Since calcium and phosphate are essential minerals, our bodies will reabsorb them to be used elsewhere once it reaches the intestines. As a matter of fact, there are many people who take calcium hydroxyapatite as a form of calcium supplement.
In other words, if you happen to swallow it you can think of it as taking a calcium supplement. Not that we’re advocating that you eat the toothpaste, we’re saying if an accident happens you don’t have to worry.
Aside from that studies have found that hydroxyapatite cannot possess immunotropic or allergenic characteristics. Therefore you can’t be allergic to it.
Note: According to risewell, you can even eat this stuff.
Is risewell toothpaste a valid alternative to fluoride?
Risewell toothpaste with hydroxyapatite is a valid fluoride alternative because it possesses many of the same anti-cavity benefits.
In fact, it is the only type of natural remineralizing agent that can protect your teeth from tooth decay. All of the other natural toothpastes with xylitol, charcoal, herbal and etc do not have these anti-decay benefits.
The hydroxyapatite will enhance remineralization and inhibition demineralization just like fluoride. The only thing that HAP can’t do is strengthen the teeth by converting hydroxyapatite to fluorapatite. That is a unique property to fluoridated toothpastes.
Nonetheless, the remineralization efficacy for both toothpastes have been shown by studies to be roughly equivalent. The conclusion was that HAP was non-inferior in regards to reversing cavities. Therefore nano-hydroxyapatite toothpastes are a valid alternative to fluoridated toothpastes.
Is it ADA approved?
Unfortunately, all hydroxyapatite toothpastes without fluoride do NOT have the seal of approval from the ADA. That is the American Dental Association.
The reason it doesn’t have the ADA seal is because it does not contain fluoride. As of the moment, only fluoride products are recognized as “anti-cavity” agents.
That is not to say that HAP can’t reverse cavities because plenty of studies have shown it. The issue is that in order for it to be recognized there needs to be a lot of testing and costs that needs to be done.
Currently no one wants to put in the capital to get it approved since it isn’t patentable. If you want the history of it, NASA technically invented it but sold the patent to Japan back in the late 1960s. The Japanese have been putting this in their toothpastes since the early 1970s.
Overall, I have to say that this is a good toothpaste and you can consider it dentist approved at least by me. This could very well be the toothpaste that you’ve been searching for.
Who I think would like this toothpaste:
- Fluoride free alternative
- All natural ingredients
- Fun, hip, and cool
Who I think wouldn’t like this toothpaste:
- If you want a zero waste product
- If you have an issue with the $12 price
I mean, it’s a good toothpaste in my opinion and there isn’t much to dislike about it. The only two cons that I can possibly think of is the eco-friendliness and the price point.
- I keep bringing this up but compared to davids toothpaste whose tube is aluminum and fully recyclable, this one is plastic. That means the tube isn’t recyclable.
- Hydroxyapatite toothpastes are the new kids on the block and the price point reflects that. It is certainly more expensive than your run of the mill sodium fluoride one which can be had for $4-5.
Aside from that, this concludes my risewell toothpaste dentist review.