Our mornings have had a literal glow up since adding Peg Paste to our routine. This unique vegan and cruelty free natural toothpaste not only creates bathroom shelfie goals but more importantly has our pearly whites gleaming.
We had the pleasure of catching up with founder Kagan Williams to learn more about Peg Paste and how her revolutionary toothpaste formula is taking care of your teeth while improving your overall health and vitality.
W&CF: Hi Kagan, thanks for catching up with us and sharing more about Peg Paste. What inspired you to create a natural toothpaste and when did you officially launch?
KW: The original idea stemmed from the need to fix a packaging problem that affected basically everyone I knew. Traditional toothpaste tubes are impractical, frustrating and contaminating our soil and waterways. I created Peg Paste to offer an everyday essential in more sustainable, recyclable packaging to improve the everyday brushing experience for consumers and minimise landfill waste. What’s more important than the packaging is obviously the toothpaste formula inside. There was a golden opportunity here to craft something new, something better than everything else on the market. I worked with cosmetic scientists, Ayla Shepherd, to deliver exceptional-quality natural toothpaste, that is pleasant in flavour, texture and fragrance while being free from toxins, sulphates and harsh chemicals commonly found in traditional toothpaste. We launched our first hydroxyapatite toothpaste product in April 2023.
W&CF: We have never heard of a natural toothpaste formula that is enriched with prebiotics. Can you share more about this holistic approach and the link between oral care and gut health?
KW: You’ve probably never heard of it because we’re a brand that strives to do things differently. Many brands infuse their products with probiotics, which is all well and good, until they come into contact with saliva, stomach acid or other digestive juices that can kill them off very quickly. Probiotic bacteria are only beneficial when they reach the gut alive. This is where probiotic bacteria need to be to exert their health benefits. Prebiotics on the other hand, are a robust fibre that do not get destroyed during digestion and are a food source for the good bacteria (probiotics), delivering powerful nutrients to them, in order to help them flourish. Given how beneficial probiotics are for gut health, immune health and overall vitality, it just seemed logical to infuse Peg Paste with prebiotics that work as a powerful fertiliser to feed these probiotics already living within the oral microbiome and rest of the body.
W&CF: We love that Peg Paste is sulphate, toxin and paraben free but there is often scepticism around using fluoride-free toothpastes. What should consumers know about fluoride and how does Peg Paste work to protect our teeth?
KW: Fluoride is a mineral commonly found in oral care products and most of the global mains water supply. Fluoride plays an effective role in reducing the risk of cavities and preventing tooth decay, but can also have side effects which many consumers are now wary of. Prolonged exposure to fluoride can lead to fluorosis (dental or skeletal), with children most at risk. Studies have also shown that fluoride can deplete nitric oxide production in the body. Humans require nitric oxide to protect the lining of your blood vessels to ensure we are protected against high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and erectile dysfunction.
Peg Paste contains hydroxyapatite which is a calcium mineral that plays the same role as fluoride in a natural, non-toxic way. Hydroxyapatite is already present in our bones and teeth, and plays a pivotal role in structural strength and regeneration. As it’s the main component in tooth enamel it helps to build up and smooth the tooth’s surface which results in a whiter, brighter appearance. Dentists highly recommend hydroxyapatite for the following benefits:
- Prevents tooth decay
- Remineralises teeth
- Strengthens tooth enamel
- Combats tooth sensitivity
- Safe material for dental implants
W&CF: Peg Paste is proudly formulated and made in Australia and you teamed up with chemist Ayla Shepherd to bring your vision to life. Can you share more about the formulation process? How long did Peg Paste take to launch from conception to completion?
KW: Peg Paste took three years to formulate and manufacture. We worked hard to source quality ingredients, get the flavour right, get the texture right and ensure the product worked as an effective toothpaste. Once we achieved that, we then had to source practical and sustainable packaging. In the world of manufacturing, the process is never really complete - we are a brand who listen, learn and commit to continuing to improve our product.
W&CF: We can definitely see Peg Paste becoming a family favourite, especially as it is suitable for children. What is something you wish more parents knew when it comes to caring for their child's oral health?
KW: I wish more parents knew about the risks of sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours and sulphates in children’s toothpastes. Saccharin, Sorbitol, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, PEG and Fluoride are ingredients that are not safe for adults, let alone children. Children’s health in all areas should be nurtured and protected as a preventative strategy. If we make the best choices for them early on, we are setting them up for life.
W&CF: My husband and I both love that your ‘N°001 Natural Mint’ flavour is fresh without being too intense or overpowering. Did you always know you wanted to launch with a Mint Flavour and what other flavours do you plan on offering?
KW: Mint is the OG. It’s fresh, it’s clean and offers wonderful health benefits. It’s also the flavour that most people associate with toothpaste so we didn’t want to change this up too much and potentially alienate consumers. We plan on launching an Intense Mint for those who want that extra, airwave-clearing, powerful exposure to the nutrients and benefits of mint, and a Sacred Clove flavour. Clove oil has incredible anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties and has been used in dentistry to prevent infection and fight bacteria for centuries. It only makes sense to include this in our oral care products. What we will never offer are flavours that are artificial and offer no health benefits.
W&CF: Your signature Peg Paste pump bottle dispenses the perfect amount of toothpaste and has secured a permanent place on our vanity. Why a pump bottle as opposed to a traditional toothpaste tube and what did the design process look like?
KW: The pump bottle is practical, mess-free and much more sustainable than traditional toothpaste tubes as it can be recycled with regular household items. The pump is also much easier for adults and children to dispense toothpaste out of without making a big mess in the bathroom. The design process took a long time but thankfully I had a great team to lean on in order to overcome challenges.
W&CF: Bonus points for the Peg Paste pump being fully recyclable! How important was this to you in the design and creation process and did you face any challenges creating a sustainable toothpaste solution?
KW: This was extremely important to me. Other brands market their products in ways that can confuse consumers into thinking they’re caring for the environment. Marketing terms like “biodegradable packaging” is simply another way of saying “this will eventually degrade in landfill”, but it’s still going to end up in landfill. Items that can be recycled such as hard plastics and metals, can be repurposed and made into new items. The challenge with creating a more sustainable solution is cost. Quality products that are better for you and better for the environment are more expensive to produce. Cheap and nasty products that are less expensive to manufacture and buy, will cost consumers and the planet in other ways.
W&CF: Aside from your unique packaging and vegan, toxin-free formula, how is Peg Paste different from other natural toothpastes on the market?
KW: Our flavour and texture. People are amazed by how pleasant our formula is to use and so they continue using it and make it a staple in their homes. Better yet, they subscribe to having Peg Paste delivered every 8 or 12 weeks. Other natural toothpastes that are gritty in texture or unpleasant in flavour, generally don’t get repurchased by consumers. People want to do better for their health but don’t want to compromise on the quality of the experience when using the product.
W&CF: You mentioned this is just the beginning. What can we expect to see from Peg Paste in the future? More oral care products or will you diversify into other verticals?
KW: You can expect to see a really strong offering of premium, quality oral care products. I am very ambitious and have heaps of ideas to grow and diversify, but at the moment I am focussed on raising and nurturing my young family and manufacturing the best natural toothpaste on the market - in that order.
FAST FIVE1. Favourite place in the world…
2. The beauty product you can't live without…
Peg Paste - there is nothing more beautiful to me, than a confident, healthy smile.
3. Song that lives rent free in your head…
Tribute - Tenacious D.
4. A life changing event or experience…
Becoming a Mum.
5. Who or what inspires you the most in life?
My daughter Lennie. She is the kindest, most compassionate and empathetic person I have ever met.
Thanks so much for chatting to us Kagan, we have loved learning more about Peg Paste and can’t imagine our morning and evening routines without it x