The importance of natural toothpaste and oral hygiene

In our latest edition of the Nimbus Journal, we sat down with Kagan Williams, founder, of Peg Paste, a recent addition to the shelves of our Nimbus Co studios across the country to talk about, oral ... hygiene.

In our latest edition of the Nimbus Journal, we sat down with Kagan Williams, founder, of Peg Paste, a recent addition to the shelves of our Nimbus Co studios across the country to talk about, oral ... hygiene.


Kagan started Peg on a mission around not only looking after your teeth but also in that classic shake-up when it comes to disrupting an industry vertical. Her aim was to develop a toxin-free product that not only elevated oral care but also contributed to overall vitality. This was coupled with her passion for the landfill waste issue and how it's impacting the environment around us. She's been able to achieve this goal by designing the Peg Paste tubes in recyclable pump vessels, quite genius. And like Nimbus, each step of her product's journey is carefully and consciously thought out, right from formulation to packaging, to reduce the landfill waste crisis, and we as humans hold ownership when it comes to the environment.


It's always quite exciting when a new brand and idea enters the wellness industry. There are many facets to balanced health and we've said before that your oral health shouldn't be overlooked. Coupled with the brand's vision and ethos too, it finds an apt placement in all studios after a sell-out introduction. But let's dive into the chat with Kagan on why she started and how it's been going.


We always start with this question but what does 'health and wellness' mean to you?

 

Health and wellness to me means, that the anatomical, spiritual, and mental components of the human body are functioning harmoniously together and fulfilling their purpose so that I’m not merely surviving but thriving as I go through life’s journey.


Let's dive right into Peg Paste, feels like it's just burst onto the scene. Has it though? Or what's the background to getting the brand together?

 

The product and brand have definitely generated a lot of interest and attention quite quickly, hence why it might feel as though we’ve burst out of nowhere, but this isn’t the case.


To craft a great product and build a brand from scratch founded on genuine values, takes time; and depending on the strategies and means you use to do it, that can take even more time.


Community plays a significant part in how I’ve built the brand; To craft a unique product that was better than the rest – I had to connect with and lean on the people who were doing things, better than the rest. How I differentiate these types of people is based on their passion, and why they do what they do – not their fees or the size of their social media following. I don’t care about that stuff.


I was the consumer that saw a gap in the market. I reached out to Ayla Shepherd, Cosmetic Scientist and Formulator of FLUX Lab who has a great background story about how she ended up formulating cosmetic products. Her principles and values, both personal and professional, were totally aligned with mine and I knew she was the one that had to be the formulator. It took us nearly 3 years and many trials to formulate the final product.


Branding is how we express ourselves. It’s our energy, our identity. In an online consumerist world flooded with products, we needed someone talented enough to cut through the noise and bulk mass of mediocrity. Byron Roberts of Bien Studio has done an incredible job and treated our brand as if it were his own. It’s personal for him. I’m thankful to be able to work with him and now call him a friend. 


Why did you see the need to fill a gap in the natural toothpaste industry?

 

This was easy. There were problems with natural toothpaste products that I needed to fix. Firstly, most of them were awful to use; gritty and unpleasant. Second and most importantly: Dental professionals tell us that it’s essential to protect and strengthen the enamel of your teeth – which it is, and cautioned against natural toothpastes that don’t contain fluoride (the most common enamel protective ingredient in oral care), which also happens to be a toxic substance. There is a huge movement to detoxify our lives, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic, when people stopped, got off the hamster wheel and started to ask questions.


So, for everybody to win, all I needed to do, was craft oral care that was a) pleasant to use, and b) contained an enamel-strengthening and remineralising ingredient that was non-toxic, completely safe and natural.


What's your own background? Was there a personal story behind creating Peg?

 

My background was actually in construction – nothing to do with health or oral care, but I was raised in a home where we supported our bodies by eating nutritious, healthy, whole food and relied on natural remedies and our own bodies to heal themselves when we got sick. We exposed our bodies and homes to as little chemicals as possible, so if I was ever exposed to other peoples’ (perfumes or air fresheners etc), I was actually highly sensitive and would generally experience some sort of physical reaction.


When I became pregnant with my first child, it wasn’t only my health that I needed to look after but this other little life that was depending on me. My protective, motherly instincts were in full swing, and I wanted to go as pure and chemical-free as possible. I conducted a bit of an audit of the common products I used daily and realised personal care such as deodorant and toothpaste that I was using every single day, multiple times a day, were important ones to focus on.


There was no natural toothpaste in the market that was pleasant to use and could fulfil my needs from an oral health perspective, so I got to work to create one – a much more practical and sustainably designed one might I add.


How important is dental hygiene to you and Peg? We talk a lot about saunas, ice baths, and other holistic health modalities. We definitely believe your teeth and dental health are no different. But we'd love to get into the science-y bits of why it's so important

 

Oral health and hygiene are super important for overall vitality because the mouth is basically like the gateway to the rest of our body. It isn't just for eating food; it's also the second-largest environment of bacteria after the gut, harbouring over 700 species of bacteria. If we don't take care of our oral health, these bacteria can get out of control and cause all sorts of health problems.


It’s also not just about our teeth, our gums are important too. If we don't take care of them, they can get all swollen and red, a condition called gingivitis. And if gingivitis isn't treated, it can lead to something more serious called periodontitis, which can make our gums pull away from our teeth, spread to our bones and cause our teeth to fall out.


Studies have also shown that periodontitis can be linked to other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, systemic infections, chronic inflammation, and even premature birth – it is serious, and it’s our own responsibility to do the best we can to maintain health and prevent problems from occurring.


What do you see as the positive impacts of good dental hygiene on our well-being? 

 

Well, first off, keeping our breath fresh and our teeth healthy and white, boosts our confidence and makes us feel good. If it were the opposite, we’d probably feel quite self-conscious which may impact our mental health or relationships with other people. 


Maintaining good dental hygiene can also save us a ton of money in the long run. People should be seeing their dentist regularly, but when do you think most people go and visit their dentist? Because they’re in pain and something is wrong. Taking care of our teeth now means we're preventing the need for expensive dental treatments or extractions down the road.


As explained in the previous questions, there's a link between our oral health and our overall well-being. Keeping our mouths healthy, means we're also reducing the risk of other health problems like heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and systemic infections. 


Let's not forget about eating! When our teeth and gums are in great shape, we can enjoy food and drinks without worrying about pain or discomfort. Imagine having to turn down your favourite ice cream because your teeth are too sensitive and painful to handle the temperature? That would be awful!


Ok, tell us, what's your morning and dental routine? Are you a twice a day? Floss-er? 

 

Twice a day morning and night, often 3 times if I’m heading out with friends or going to a meeting. Flosser is also brainstorming some cool alternatives to traditional flossing products… watch this space.


Do you use a static or an electric brush?

 

I’m a manual toothbrush girl, through and through. In saying that I’m an analogue type of girl with pretty much everything in life. My husband loves tech and gadgets and is always showing me faster more innovative ways to do things, like opening the front door through an app on your iPhone for example, but I prefer the O-G put the key in the lock and turn method.


Mouth breathing is a topic that gets brought up a lot nowadays, I am one. But can you share any insights into what mouth breathing can be doing to our health?

 

A super interesting topic that I’m actually working closely with our community of holistic dental practitioners to learn more about as it’s fascinating – particularly in the area of paediatric health.


Mouth-breathing can dry out oral tissues, leading to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. It also disrupts the natural filtration and humidification processes of the nose, increasing the risk of respiratory infections such as the common cold or tonsillitis. Chronic mouth-breathing may contribute to sleep disturbances and worsen asthma symptoms.


It has also been linked to behavioural issues in children that are resembling ADHD. So by potentially fixing the root cause of the behavioural issues, the need to medicate children with an ADHD diagnosis could potentially be avoided. This is an area Peg Paste is really passionate about and wants to work with health experts to explore further.


What inspiration did you draw on for the branding by the way, we love

My man Byron of Bien Studio takes all the credit here, but we drew on other premium lifestyle brands It’s all Fluff and Off-White which made us feel something when we came into contact with them. They stop us in our tracks, make us look and listen, and allow their products to be the hero of the story.


Are there any stand-out materials you're proud of using? Or not using?

 

I’m proud of not using artificial flavours to keep up with flavour trends. We’re in the business of producing high-quality oral health products people commit to for life, not gimmicky fads.


What does the future look like for Peg? What's in the roadmap?

 

The future is looking bright for PP. Our roadmap is led by insight, and that insight comes directly from our customers and the holistic health experts actively using and recommending our product to their communities. We are launching two new products within the next few months, both of which have a purpose behind them, with plans to launch more products later in the year. As a team, we’re also just enjoying working together and growing a community of amped, health-focused people. It’s awesome.


We always ask this question to finish, "What is one thing you'd recommend people to do every day to improve their overall health?"

 

Slow down. When you slow down, you become more observant and in tune with your body and what it’s trying to tell you about what it needs or where it may be struggling. If you continue to rush, you may ignore or fail to recognise important warning signs before it’s too late and you’re forced to come to a complete stop. Prevention is key!


Best way to connect with you? Social media etc?

 

Join the Peg Paste community via social media @pegpaste or, sign up for their newsletter via pegpaste.com.au to get their latest insightful health content.


If you want to connect with Kagan directly, find her Kagan Williams on LinkedIn or you can email me at brush@pegpaste.com.au.


Words: Neil O'Sullivan, Co-Founder, Nimbus Co

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