Bathroom counter top with a plan, towel, bottle, and multiple toothbrushes in a cup. Different types of toothpaste, natural is best.

Different Types of Toothpaste: Comprehensive Guide – Why Natural Alternatives Are Superior

Have you ever found yourself standing in the toothpaste aisle of your local supermarket, feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of options that line the shelves? How can there seriously be so many different types of toothpaste? If you’ve asked these questions, you’re not alone.

Table Of Contents
  1. Toothpaste: A Brief History
  2. Different Types of Toothpaste
  3. Common Ingredients in Synthetic Toothpaste 
  4. The Harmful Effects of Synthetic Toothpaste on Your Mouth 
  5. The Role of Fluoride in Toothpaste 
  6. The Environmental Impact of Synthetic Toothpaste: Why Natural Is the Eco-Friendly Choice 
  7. The Myth that Natural Toothpaste is Less Effective Debunked 
  8. The Different Types of Natural Toothpaste: Which Is the Right Toothpaste for You? 
  9. How can I make my own natural toothpaste? 
  10. What is the cost difference between natural and synthetic toothpaste?
  11. Making the switch to natural toothpaste: Tips and tricks for a successful transition 
  12. Conclusion: The Options Are Endless, but Natural Toothpaste is Better 
  13. FAQs: Natural Vs. Synthetic Toothpaste

As parents, we’ve weighed the options up and down, all around, and still occasionally try different options. 

Fluoride, whitening, sensitivity, anti-cavity, tartar control, the list goes on… How do you make an informed choice amidst all these options? More importantly, how can you choose a toothpaste that aligns with your family’s health goals and lifestyle choices? 

“Understanding the variety of toothpastes available is the first step to making the right choice.”

It’s not as difficult a decision as it seems. In the following sections, we’ll dive into the confusing world of toothpaste. But this isn’t just another guide. We’ll consider the history of toothpaste, common ingredients found in synthetic toothpaste, and why natural alternatives are better overall.

We’ll be shining the spotlight on natural alternatives, making a compelling case for why they should be the toothpaste of choice for your family. Packed with insights, facts, and actionable advice, our goal here (as always) is to equip you with helpful information to make the best decision for you and your family. 

Toothpaste: A Brief History

So, how did toothpaste come to be? The origins of toothpaste stretch back to ancient Egypt, around 5000 BC. Early versions were a mixture of powdered ashes and egg shells. By the 19th century, toothpaste took on a more familiar form, still abrasive in nature but incorporating soap and chalk for a cleaner, smoother feel.

Perhaps the most impactful modern-day contribution was the inclusion of fluoride in the 20th century, heralding toothpaste as we know it today. 

Different Types of Toothpaste

Toothpaste has evolved to cater to a variety of oral health needs. Here’s a rundown: 

  • Whitening Toothpaste: Contains mild abrasives to remove surface stains and restore teeth to their natural color. Synthetic forms often contain hydrogen peroxide. 
  • Sensitive Toothpaste: Formulated to provide relief from tooth sensitivity, often containing potassium nitrate or strontium chloride.
  • Tartar Control Toothpaste: Designed to prevent tartar build-up on the teeth.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste: Contains fluoride to fight against tooth decay.
  • Children’s Toothpaste: Often fluoride-free or contains less fluoride overall and comes in a variety of flavors to encourage children to maintain oral health.
  • Natural Toothpaste: Free from synthetic ingredients, focusing on plant-based and mineral ingredients.
  • Enamel strengthening: For reinforcing and protecting your tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth.

Common Ingredients in Synthetic Toothpaste 

Synthetic toothpastes are replete with ingredients and active ingredients that many find hard to pronounce. Here’s a quick rundown: 

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Used for its foaming properties.
  • Triclosan: An antibacterial agent.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Like saccharin, used for taste.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Whitening agent
  • Fluoride: Often included for its cavity-fighting properties. 

The Harmful Effects of Synthetic Toothpaste on Your Mouth 

Have you ever thought about whether these synthetic ingredients might be causing harm? SLS can lead to mouth ulcers and canker sores. Triclosan has been linked to hormonal disruptions and an increase in allergy symptoms. Moreover, overuse of fluoride or too much fluoride, particularly in children, can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition that changes the appearance of tooth enamel, causing staining and even damage. Lastly, long-term use of hydrogen peroxide, even in low concentrations, can damage tooth enamel and soft tissue in the mouth, like your gums and tongue. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Numerous other chemicals, chemical compounds, and preservatives lurking in your toothpaste can potentially harm your health. Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we? 

10 Common Chemicals Found in Toothpaste and Their Possible Side Effects 

  • Propylene Glycol: Often used as a moisture-keeper, it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Carrageenan: Although derived from red seaweed, it can cause gastrointestinal inflammation and ulcers.
  • Parabens: These preservatives have been linked to hormonal disruptions, breast cancer, and reproductive issues.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA): This foam booster can lead to skin irritation and, in larger quantities, to liver and kidney damage.
  • Microbeads: These tiny plastic particles are non-biodegradable and can accumulate in your body over time, potentially causing long-term health problems.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Some sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame, have been linked to cancer in some studies.
  • Artificial Colors: These may cause hyperactivity in children and have been linked to cancer.
  • Titanium Dioxide: This white pigment has been classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Besides causing mouth ulcers, it can lead to skin irritation.
  • Blue 1, Yellow 5, and Red 40: These artificial colors are linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and cancer.

Remember, just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s safe. Always read labels and consider the potential health implications.

Now that we’ve uncovered some truths about the synthetic ingredients in toothpaste, you may wonder what natural alternatives are available and, more importantly, if they are effective. We’ll get to that soon enough! Stay tuned.

The Role of Fluoride in Toothpaste 

Fluoride has been the cornerstone of toothpaste for decades and is often listed as the single active ingredient in most. But is it as safe as we’ve been led to believe? While fluoride can reduce cavities, it’s also a neurotoxin that can be harmful in large doses.

The balance is delicate, and many are choosing to err on the side of caution by going fluoride-free. Our family has used toothpaste and mouthwashes containing fluoride, but we’ve also created tooth powders without fluoride. 

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in various conventional toothpastes. But what is the function of fluoride in oral health, and are there potential drawbacks? Let’s delve into the realm of fluoride and its significance in dental hygiene. 

First, how does fluoride contribute to dental health? Its primary role is in the remineralization of your teeth. This is a process where depleted minerals are replenished in the enamel layer. When you enjoy your meals or drinks, the acids from these foods can demineralize the enamel of your teeth.

Fluoride then intervenes, adhering to the affected areas and attracting other minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. This action forms a new, robust mineral layer on your teeth better equipped to resist acid attacks. 

“Think of fluoride as a buffer for your teeth, offering an extra layer of protection against detrimental acid attacks.”

When it comes to fluoride in your toothpaste, there are three common types that you’ll come across— stannous fluoride (SnF2), sodium fluoride (NaF), and sodium monofluorophosphate (Na2PO3F). Each of these comes with its own unique properties and benefits, which are backed by various studies. 

Stannous Fluoride (SnF2)

Stannous fluoride is a powerful agent that helps strengthen enamel and combat cavities but also aids in controlling plaque and reducing gum inflammation. This was highlighted in a study which found it to be highly effective. 

Sodium Fluoride (NaF)

Next on the list is sodium fluoride. This type of fluoride provides similar benefits to stannous fluoride in terms of strengthening enamel and combating cavities. A study confirmed these benefits, showcasing the effectiveness of NaF. 

Sodium Monofluorophosphate (Na2PO3F)

Lastly, there’s sodium monofluorophosphate, a slightly different compound but one that still provides significant oral health benefits. It’s especially known for its enamel-strengthening properties, as evidenced by a research study

As a recap, here’s a table showing the benefits and additional details for each of the three types we listed.

Type of FluorideBenefitsAdditional Details
Stannous Fluoride (SnF2)Strengthens enamel, combats cavities, controls plaque, reduces gum inflammationStannous Fluoride has the unique ability to fight against a broad spectrum of oral issues. Not only does it enhance the strength of tooth enamel, but it’s also effective at combating cavities and plaque. The additional benefit of reducing gum inflammation sets it apart from other fluoride types.
Sodium Fluoride (NaF)Strengthens enamel and combats cavitiesSodium Fluoride is a commonly used type in toothpastes. Along with strengthening the tooth enamel, it’s also a potent weapon against cavities, making it a popular choice for oral health products.
Sodium Monofluorophosphate (Na2PO3F)Strengthens enamelSodium Monofluorophosphate is mainly known for its role in strengthening enamel. Although, it doesn’t offer as many benefits as Stannous Fluoride or Sodium Fluoride.

“Knowledge is power. More specifically, in this context, it’s the power to make informed decisions about what’s best for you and your family’s oral care needs.”

So, whether you choose a toothpaste with stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, or no fluoride, it’s crucial to do your own research. Armed with this quick breakdown of the types of fluoride, you’ll be better equipped to continue researching to determine what’s best for your family’s dental health. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

The Environmental Impact of Synthetic Toothpaste: Why Natural Is the Eco-Friendly Choice 

Synthetic toothpaste not only affects our health but also takes a toll on our environment. The microbeads used in some toothpastes can end up in oceans, harming marine life. Moreover, the production of synthetic ingredients contributes to environmental pollution. On the other hand, natural toothpastes use eco-friendly ingredients and sustainable manufacturing practices, making them a green choice. 

The Myth that Natural Toothpaste is Less Effective Debunked 

Think natural toothpaste isn’t as effective? Think again. Numerous studies have revealed that natural ingredients such as neem, green tea extract, and baking soda exhibit bacteria-fighting capabilities on par, if not superior, to their synthetic counterparts. Surprised? Let’s delve deeper into the science behind this. 

The natural toothpaste market is growing as consumers become more aware of the potential harmful effects of synthetic ingredients.
– Mintel Group

Natural Ingredients: Packed with Antimicrobial Properties 

Take the example of neem. An overview published in the National Library of Medicine highlights that neem extracts can remarkably combat tooth decay-causing bacteria. This age-old ingredient used in traditional medicine doesn’t just match up to synthetic ingredients; it is arguably surpassing them! 

Moreover, don’t overlook the humble baking soda. Known for its cleaning and whitening properties, baking soda, according to a study published in the Journal of Dentistry, has proven effective in reducing plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation. This is a simple, cheap, and natural ingredient that’s beneficial for oral health.

Meanwhile, green tea extract has been observed to possess potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities make it a stellar component in natural toothpaste formulations, contributing significantly to oral health. 

Additional Reading:

Choosing natural toothpaste is another low-hanging fruit decision that lessens your and your loved ones’ overall exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals, and contaminants. 

The Different Types of Natural Toothpaste: Which Is the Right Toothpaste for You? 

Ready to explore natural toothpaste options? There are numerous varieties, each with unique benefits for your needs. Let’s take a look.

  • Anti-bacterial toothpaste: Includes ingredients like tea tree oil and cinnamon.
  • Remineralizing toothpaste: Enriched with calcium and phosphate to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Kids-friendly toothpaste: Made with mild, safe ingredients and fun, tasty flavors like strawberry or bubblegum.
  • Vegan toothpaste: Free of animal-derived ingredients, a perfect fit for those following a vegan lifestyle.
  • Fluoride-free toothpaste: Ideal for those who prefer to avoid this contentious ingredient.

Each natural option is explicitly formulated, whether using natural ingredients for bacterial reduction, creating natural flavors for children’s palates, or appealing to those who prefer toothpaste without fluoride.  

When we switch to natural toothpaste, we’re essentially limiting the number of synthetic chemicals we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. Over time, these little decisions add up to massive reductions our overall chemical exposure.

Many of us are aiming to adopt a healthier, more natural lifestyle. This doesn’t just mean eating wholesome foods or exercising regularly, but also being mindful of the products we use, including toothpaste. By opting for natural alternatives, we’re making a conscious decision to reduce our exposure to artificial additives. And the best part? We’re not sacrificing effectiveness for the sake of going natural! 

Natural Toothpaste Types, Continued: A Table of Types and Benefits 

TypeKey IngredientsBenefits
WhiteningActivated charcoal, Baking sodaEnhances tooth brightness
SensitiveAloe vera, Coconut oilSoothes sensitive gums and teeth
Anti-plaqueNeem, Green tea extractPrevents plaque buildup
Anti-bacterialTea tree oil, CinnamonFights harmful bacteria
RemineralizingCalcium, PhosphateStrengthens tooth enamel
Kids-friendlyMild, safe ingredientsSafe for children, with flavors they’ll love
VeganFree of animal-derived ingredientsAligned with a vegan lifestyle
Fluoride-freeAvoids fluorideIdeal for those who prefer to avoid fluoride

With so many types and benefits, it’s clear that natural toothpaste isn’t just a trend but a healthier choice for our overall well-being. So, are you ready to make the switch?

Understanding the Ingredients in Natural Toothpaste 

Natural toothpaste often includes ingredients like baking soda for cleansing, xylitol for sweetness, essential oils for flavor and additional health benefits, and coconut oil for its antibacterial properties. By knowing what’s in your toothpaste, you can make informed decisions about your oral health. 

Let’s delve deeper into the world of natural toothpaste and explore some of its most beneficial ingredients. These ingredients are not just natural, but they also provide a myriad of benefits to our oral health. 

15 Commonly Used Natural Ingredients in Toothpaste: 

  1. Baking Soda: Acts as a natural cleaner and whitener, effective against plaque.
  2. Xylitol: A natural sweetener that helps to fight tooth decay and gum disease.
  3. Essential Oils: They provide flavor and have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Peppermint and spearmint oils are commonly used.
  4. Coconut Oil: Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it promotes gum health.
  5. Activated Charcoal: Helps in teeth whitening and removing surface stains.
  6. Aloe Vera: Has soothing properties and can help fight against gum diseases.
  7. Neem: Helps in reducing plaque formation and gingivitis.
  8. Eucalyptus Oil: Has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  9. Green Tea Extract: Helps in preventing tooth decay and gum diseases.
  10. Clove Oil: Has analgesic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties; it’s beneficial for toothaches and gum issues.
  11. Cinnamon: Has antimicrobial abilities and adds flavor.
  12. Lemon: Provides a refreshing flavor and has natural whitening properties.
  13. Sea Salt: Acts as a natural scrubber and promotes salivation, which helps in teeth cleaning.
  14. Chamomile Extract: Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  15. Ginger: Ginger has antibacterial properties that help fight against oral bacteria.

These are just a few natural toothpaste ingredients that contribute to a healthier mouth. Natural alternatives offer a significant number of advantages over synthetic options. The variety of formulations, including the ingredients and types of natural toothpaste, make it possible for everyone to switch to natural oral care regardless of individual preferences. 

How can I make my own natural toothpaste? 

Have you ever wondered what goes into making your own natural toothpaste? Here, we share with you four simple base recipes that can help you begin your journey into the world of natural oral hygiene. You can also make tooth powder – an effective and natural alternative to toothpaste. Again, the below recipes are ‘base’ recipes, meaning you can add several other ingredients to them depending on your preferences, such as xylitol, aloe, calcium powder, and more. 

Recipe 1: Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Toothpaste 

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted) and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing taste.
  3. Store in a clean, reusable container.

Recipe 2: Bentonite Clay Toothpaste 

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay, 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of stevia powder.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of filtered water and a few drops of quality peppermint essential oil. Mix until it forms a paste.
  3. Store in a glass container.

Recipe 3: Herbal Toothpaste 

  1. Mix 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted), 3 tablespoons of bentonite clay, 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of stevia powder.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of herbal powder (like neem or mint) and a few drops of essential oil (like clove or cinnamon).
  3. Store in a clean, reusable container.

Recipe 4: Natural Tooth Powder 

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay, 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal, 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cloves and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
  3. Store in a clean, reusable container.

One of the greatest joys of making your own natural toothpaste or tooth powder is the ability to tailor it to your unique preferences. Love the taste of cinnamon? Add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. Would you prefer it sweeter? Add a little more stevia. The choice is yours! 

Remember: It’s important to research the ingredients and their concentrations before adding them to your mixture. If you’re uncertain or don’t have time to research, go for a premade natural toothpaste instead. Your mouth’s health is worth it!

What is the cost difference between natural and synthetic toothpaste?

Generally speaking, natural toothpastes can cost a bit more than their synthetic counterparts. But why is this the case? 

The cost difference is primarily due to the quality of the ingredients used. Natural toothpastes are typically made with high-quality, organic ingredients, which come at a higher price point. These ingredients are often sourced sustainably, which further contributes to the cost. On the other hand, synthetic toothpastes often contain cheaper, mass-produced chemicals, which helps to keep their costs down. 

Here’s a brief comparison of their costs: 

Synthetic ToothpasteNatural Toothpaste
Approximately $1-$3 for a standard tubeApproximately $4-$8 for a standard tube

While the upfront cost of natural toothpaste might seem higher, it’s crucial to consider the long-term benefits. Investing in natural toothpaste can lead to better overall oral health, potentially saving you from expensive dental treatments down the line. 

So, when you look at the bigger picture, the extra bucks spent on natural toothpaste can offer you invaluable benefits in terms of health, wellness, and environmental impact.

Making the switch to natural toothpaste: Tips and tricks for a successful transition 

Are you considering switching to natural toothpaste? Well, you’re not alone! The interest in natural alternatives for personal care products is on the rise. However, moving from synthetic toothpastes to natural ones might seem daunting, given that so many different toothpastes are available. But don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make a successful and smooth transition. 

Understand why you’re switching. 

Firstly, it’s vital to understand why you’re making this switch. Standard toothpastes often contain synthetic ingredients. In contrast, natural toothpastes are made with organic, plant-based components. If the goal is good oral hygiene, isn’t it better to put something in your mouth that’s derived from nature? 

“Deciding to switch to natural toothpaste is not just about changing a product; it’s about making a conscious choice for your health and the planet.”

1.) Know the key natural ingredients.

Next, familiarize yourself with the key ingredients found in natural kinds of toothpaste.

These can include: 

  • Baking Soda: A natural cleanser and whitener.
  • Xylitol: A natural sweetener that fights cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Coconut Oil: Known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

2.) Try different brands.

Not all natural toothpastes are created equal. Hence, one good idea is to try different brands and find the one that suits you and your family best. Remember, taste and texture can vary significantly between different kinds of toothpaste in general. 

3.) Check for certifications.

While most natural toothpaste claims to be ‘natural,’ not all of them are certified. Hence, look for certifications like USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified to ensure you’re getting a truly natural product. 

4.) Be patient.

Last but not least, be patient with yourself and the process. The transition may not be as smooth as you’d like. You might not like the first natural toothpaste you try, or it might take some time for your mouth to adjust. Don’t give up.

Conclusion: The Options Are Endless, but Natural Toothpaste is Better 

As we navigate through the vast sea of toothpaste options, there’s still much to learn, yet we hope this has been a helpful overview of the available options, pros and cons, and why natural oral care is best. Although there’s a wide variety of toothpaste types available, it’s clear that natural alternatives offer a plethora of benefits that synthetic counterparts struggle to match. Let’s look at these advantages one more time: 

  • Safe Ingredients: Natural toothpaste either primarily or exclusively uses ingredients derived from nature, which are safe and gentle on our bodies. We still encourage you to research the individual ingredients to see how and why they’re used. 
  • Eco-friendly: The production, use, and disposal of natural toothpaste is often more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. And we live in our environment, so this is another way to reduce our exposure to toxins and chemicals.
  • Just as Effective: Studies have shown that natural toothpaste can be as effective at cleaning teeth and preventing cavities as synthetic ones.

We have the power to make a healthier choice for ourselves and our families. We can switch to natural toothpaste and reap the benefits of a cleaner mouth and a cleaner environment without compromising efficiency. It’s a step towards a healthier lifestyle and a happier planet.

Natural ToothpasteSynthetic Toothpaste
Safe, natural ingredientsPotentially harmful chemicals
Eco-friendlyMay harm the environment
Equally effectiveEffectiveness at the expense of safety?

Remember, every small step towards a more natural lifestyle contributes to a larger impact. 

In the end, the best toothpaste is the one that aligns with your family’s health and environmental values. We hope that you now have a clearer understanding of your options and feel empowered to make the best choice for your family. Here’s to clean teeth and healthy smiles!

FAQs: Natural Vs. Synthetic Toothpaste

Are natural toothpastes as effective as synthetic ones? 

Indeed, they are! Natural toothpastes can be just as effective as synthetic ones. The power of natural ingredients, like baking soda, clay, and essential oils, should not be underestimated. These components have been used for centuries to maintain oral hygiene. Scientific studies have shown that natural toothpastes can prevent tooth decay and combat bad breath just as well as their synthetic counterparts. What’s more? They do this without the risk of exposing your mouth to potentially harmful chemicals. 

What ingredients should I look for in natural toothpaste? 

When seeking a natural toothpaste, you should look for ingredients that are known for their oral health benefits, like many we discussed earlier. These include: 

  • Baking Soda: An age-old remedy for cleaning and whitening teeth.
  • Xylitol: A natural sweetener that helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Coconut Oil: Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Essential Oils: Peppermint and tea tree for their antimicrobial properties and pleasant taste. Many options are available.
  • Clay: Rich in minerals and helps in detoxifying the mouth.

Ultimately, the ingredients you look for will depend on your preference and overall dental needs.

Are there any harmful chemicals in synthetic toothpaste? 

Unfortunately, synthetic toothpaste can contain several potentially harmful chemicals. These include: 

  • Triclosan: An antibacterial agent linked to hormonal disruptions and antibiotic resistance.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): A foaming agent that can cause mouth ulcers and canker sores.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Some sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame, have been linked to cancer in some studies.
  • Fluoride: While beneficial in small amounts, overexposure can lead to dental fluorosis, particularly in children.

Is natural toothpaste safe for children? 

Yes, natural toothpaste is safe for children and could even be a better choice! Children, especially those still learning to brush, tend to swallow toothpaste, which can lead to overexposure to fluoride. Natural toothpastes often come in kid-friendly flavors without the use of artificial sweeteners, making them an excellent choice for little ones. 

Do natural toothpastes taste different than synthetic ones? 

Yes, natural toothpaste tastes different from synthetic toothpaste. While synthetic toothpastes often use artificial sweeteners and flavors to achieve a super minty and sweet taste, natural toothpastes rely on natural ingredients, like essential oils and plant extracts, for flavor. Some people find the taste of natural toothpaste to be less overpowering and more pleasing. 

Can natural toothpaste whiten teeth? 

Absolutely! Many natural toothpastes contain baking soda, a natural ingredient known for its whitening properties. Clay, another common ingredient in natural toothpaste, can also help remove stains and discoloration over time. Yes, natural toothpaste can help you achieve a bright, healthy smile without harsh chemicals.

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