>> What’s new overseas?

Product: Sweet Sleep Toothpaste

Company: Beijing Jiecha Daily Chemical

Country: China

Toothpaste, of course, can remove stains, reduce plaque, and help prevent gum disease. Some brands have introduced night-time variants that are designed to help nourish the teeth and protect the gums during the night.

But those all look a little mainstream against a new launch in China. Sweet Sleep Toothpaste, from Beijing Jiecha Daily Chemical, is claimed not only to clean the teeth and refresh the mouth, but also to help relieve insomnia, and nourish the brain and nerves.

The toothpaste contains extracts of Tibetan natural medicinal plants, including safflower and fragrant sassafras. It is positioned as a product for adults.

The packaging, like the positioning, is unusual. The toothpaste is contained in a traditional squeezable plastic tube, but the tube in turn is presented in an ornate carton, which is held closed by magnetic strips - a package that we would associate with a premium skincare product, rather than oral hygiene.

This is a premium-priced product. An 80g tube retails at the equivalent of around £6, but it is unique in terms of its functional benefits.

We have seen a few brands emerging around the world containing ‘night-time milk’, taken from cows at night when the milk is naturally higher in melatonin, and thus claimed to aid sleep. So why not night-time toothpaste as a carrier for functional ingredients that can help the user unwind or fall asleep more easily?