Twice Co-Founder On Why Toothpaste Needs a Makeover
There should be no difference between how we select our skincare products and oral care products. Yet, somehow oral care is often considered an afterthought. Many customers still use the “trusted” brands for brushing their teeth, yet have welcomed indie brands and natural beauty brands with open arms for their skincare and body care. Isn’t our entire body a temple? If anything, we should be more selective with our oral care products, because wrinkles won’t kill you, but bad oral health will.
Kinder Beauty’s definition of clean beauty means eliminating all of the nasty ingredients, but it doesn’t mean everything will always be all-natural. Safe synthetics do exist, and some are even better for those with sensitive skin. This is the same approach we take with our oral care, which is why we featured Twice in our February Self-Crush Collection.
Twice is an oral care brand that creates high-quality toothpastes that are accessibly priced, formulated with multiple health concerns in mind, and also look great on your vanity.
“Twice customers are looking for better solutions for their oral and overall health. They put more thought behind their everyday activities and want to make brushing their teeth more of an experience,” says Twice Co-Founder Julian Levine.
Twice’s two other co-founders are his brother Cody Levine, and none other than rock star Lenny Kravitz. Julian and Cody’s father, Jonathan Levine, is Lenny Kravitz’s long-time client and family friend of more than 15 years. While they all have been in each other’s lives for over a decade, Twice only came to be after a life-changing experience in The Bahamas in 2015.
“In 2015, Lenny was telling my dad a story about a dental mission in Rwanda the year prior and how they helped his woman who was a victim of genocide regain a lot of her strength and confidence by providing her a new smile. Lenny asked my dad if he was able to assemble a crew to come to his community in The Bahamas, Eleuthera, that has one clinic. [Locals] would have to fly to Nassau to see a dentist, so there’s an entire island of people who rarely ever see a dentist before it’s too late. Three months later, we sent 30 dental professional volunteers and we took over an abandoned preschool right in the middle of town. It was around 600 square feet and was used as a pseudo town hall. We decked it out with donated and purchased equipment and mobile dental units. That clinic had the power to get us thinking about doing something more long-term. We’ve gone back every year since 2015. We saw how grateful they were and it shed a light on the problems that exist in The Bahamas and around the world, both physical and emotional, with people and their smiles. We’re not dentists, but we wanted to find a way to help out and donate money to the Glo Good Foundation.” Eighteen months later, Twice was launched on World Smile Day.
Twice was made with the intention of giving back to charities and communities worldwide.
Twice donates 10 percent of its profits to the Glo Good Foundation, donates toothpaste on all of its missions, and created a dental ambassador program that is a community of dental professionals from around the country that enables them to give back locally and through Glo Good.
With the right formula of toothpaste, they know they are not only helping people in the moment, but also setting up those less fortunate for better oral health in the future. “That’s another reason we formulated the way we did. These people do not have pristine diets. These people need protection, so we got inspired to create the best toothpaste in the world.”
Even in areas where citizens are not struggling with natural disasters or putting food on the table, and they have everything they need within a five-mile radius, oral care is still an afterthought—something that only gets attention once or twice a year at their dentist’s without a thought of changing their daily habits. On top of everyone’s lack of commitment to oral health, there’s also much misinformation that skews their buying habits.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about toothpaste, [especially] fluoride,” Julian says. “From the stance of dental professionals and science, we saw it as an opportunity to create a healthier product that was still a commitment to science.”
Beyond making an item that was clean and effective, Twice created formulas that were multifunctional, unlike many popular brands that often market anti-sensitivity, whitening, and tartar control as three separate needs.
Twice also makes sure to communicate that oral care health is more than just about vanity.
“We have the Hollywood smile to thank for that; there’s more [emphasis] on straight and white teeth for vanity, but the connection between the mouth and the body doesn’t get enough air time. The mouth is the gateway to the body. If you think about the dentist and the hospital, it’s separate; but the connection of oral health and overall health couldn’t be more clear. One of the leading cases of cardiovascular disease is the plaque found between your teeth that goes through your gums in your mouth and ends up in the heart. We take the health of our gums for granted, but it’s a connective tissue to the rest of the body. 75 percent of Americans have some sort of gum disease that ranges from mild and early to having no teeth. If you slack in your dental care, you’re allowing bacteria to grow in the rest of your body and inflammation to begin in your mouth. At its core, there’s around 120 systemic diseases which can begin in the mouth. This is the messaging we’re hoping to scream from the rooftops and trust our products to deliver on that.”
Having a great toothpaste in your oral care routine is a great first step, just like having a great moisturizer will surely do wonders for your skin. But if you don’t know how to prep your skin before the moisturizer, you’re wasting product; if you don’t know how to execute a healthy oral care routine, you’re still potentially doing damage to your mouth. Luckily, Julian shared some tips as to how to go about your daily oral care routine.
“There is a routine in oral health, but I do not know many people who know it. Oral wellness starts with taking preventative care of your mouth by brushing first, flossing second, and rinsing third. The reason is because you brush the plaque off your teeth, floss the plaque between your teeth, and then rinse it all away.”
It’s simple, but effective.
After taking off all of your makeup and walking through the steps of your nighttime skincare routine, we must not forget to treat our mouths with the same care, diligence, and respect.
It’s time to ditch the “trusted” brands from our supermarket not only for the damage they’re doing to our months, but also the damage they afflict on animals as practically all of them still do animal testing (Colgate, Crest, Listerine, the list goes on).
It’s about time oral care got its own industry makeover. Sunscreen now has “reef-safe” labels, deodorant has “aluminum-free” labels, so why is oral care still looking the same on our shelves?
“People don’t realize that the big brands are a big problem. In oral care, whenever I see no fluoride, I cringe. As a clean product, we don't have sulfates, but they're not going to kill you. There’s a lot of irritation and it does damage your mouth, but there isn’t some big scary red X over it. Part of the problem, which I believe over time will be solved, is that toothpaste is not having a moment yet ... but it's getting there.”