Mint, spearmint, and peppermint are synonymous with that refreshing, cooling taste and feeling that we’re used to seeing in oral care products along with other personal care items like body wash, lotions and shampoos.
But have you ever wondered why these familiar minty ingredients are used in personal care and oral care products, especially toothpaste?
We’re breaking down what you’re mint to know about this special, invigorating plant. In this blog article, we’ll discuss:
- The origins and science behind mint
- Why mint is commonly found in personal and oral care products
- How and why you should use mint, peppermint, and spearmint
The Origins and History of Mint
The use of mint can be traced back several centuries, including ancient Greece. Mint is actually an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of plants like peppermint and spearmint.
But often times when you hear the word “mint,” spearmint is what people typically are typically referring to. To give you a little history lesson, the word “mint” comes from the Latin word mentha, which is rooted in the Greek word minthe.
According to Greek mythology, Minthe was a beautiful wood nymph who caught the eye of Hades. Hades’ wife, Persephone, became incredibly jealous over her husband’s wandering eye and turned Minthe into a crawling plant. Hades couldn’t reverse the spell, so he made Minthe smell good so that she would always be noticed and never taken for granted (Natural Society).
From these ancient times to the modern day, mint has commonly been used to treat a host of ailments from upset stomachs to stinky breaths.
Why Mint is Commonly Found in Personal Care Products
But why is mint so popular? To start, mint tastes fantastic. It’s a classic taste that we instantly associate with a clean feeling.
Mint also contains a compound called menthol that which triggers cold-sensitive reporters in soft tissues that produce a cooling sensation. Mint has also shown to contain antibacterial properties!
The next time you’re in your bathroom, check out your products and see if mint is listed on an ingredients list. And the next time you feel a tingly, cool sensation when using your products, you can thank mint.
How and Why You Should Use Mint, Peppermint, and Spearmint
In terms of oral care, mint is more than just a tasty flavor. It actually benefits the mouth by:
- Inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the mouth
- Helping prevent tooth decay
- Anti-inflammatory properties can keep gums healthy
- Whitening teeth in a more natural way
And you can get the benefits of both peppermint and spearmint with Dr. Brite products! You can find spearmint in our Whitening Mint Toothpaste, Cleansing Mint Mouthwash, and Teeth Whitening Pens. Looking for peppermint? Check out our Brite & Fresh Oral Spray for fresh breath and our Soothe & Restore Oral Spray to help heal gum pain.
1. Why does mint make your mouth feel clean?
We immediately identify it with a fresh, clean sense because it's a traditional flavor profile. Mint also includes a chemical component known as menthol, which stimulates the production of cold-sensitive reporters in soft tissues, resulting in a cooling feeling.
2. Why does mint make you feel fresh?
Mints are a type of plant that is used to make tea. The leaves and oil from the plant have many medicinal properties, including promoting digestion and relieving nausea. Many people drink mint tea after eating because it helps with digestion. Mints also contain menthol which creates an icy sensation on your tongue when you eat them. This makes you feel refreshed due to the cold feeling in your mouth.
3. Is mint good for the mouth?
It is well known that mint improves oral hygiene and dental health. Although mint is often associated with fresh breath, it also has additional benefits, such as supporting healthy gums and teeth. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of mint help to keep teeth fresher for longer.
4. Do mints really freshen breath?
Mints do not really freshen breath. The reason why they are labeled as a breath freshener is that the menthol in them will make your mouth feel cooler and tingly, which may help mask bad smells from other foods you have eaten or bacteria that build up on your teeth. However, it does not eliminate the bad smell-causing factors.
5. Are spearmint and peppermint the same?
Despite being the most well-known of the two, peppermint is actually a natural combination of spearmint and water mint. There is a greater concentration of menthol in peppermint than spearmint because peppermint is a hybrid of two types of mint (40 percent as compared to 0.5 percent in spearmint).
6. What occurs when mint is chewed?
Mint has a light flavor that might feel pleasant in the mouth. Additionally, it possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics that might enhance gum and tooth health. Chewing also aids in keeping the mouth and teeth clean.
7. What happens if you regularly chew mint gum?
Your temporomandibular joints, muscles, and teeth are subjected to excessive strain when you chew gum all the time, which causes overstress, imbalance, and misalignment. This could result in one or both temporomandibular joints clicking or popping.
8. Is spearmint a pain reliever?
Typically used as a flavor, spearmint has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
9. Is it safe to consume raw mint leaves?
Yes, both raw and cooked mint leaves are edible. Most likely, peppermint comes to mind when you think of mint. However, you can try a variety of delectable mint variations.