Not all toothpastes are created equal. It may be hard to believe but some toothpastes can even harm your overall health. Even more shockingly, there are plenty of them around in the market.
If you’ve ever wandered around your grocery aisle and been overwhelmed by the number of toothpaste offerings, you might have chosen based on the fancy packaging or the catchy marketing slogan of the brand. However, it’s what is inside that counts, and what’s inside can either be beneficial or downright dangerous.
Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients
1. Triclosan – This ingredient is often added to many products as an antibacterial agent, but it’s a pesticide that the FDA has banned for use in soap and body wash. That’s proof enough that triclosan shouldn’t even go anywhere near your mouth. There are also studies that link it to a decrease in thyroid hormones and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Triclosan was very common in hospital hand disinfectants and several toothpaste products in the late 2000s.
2. Diethanolamine (DEA) – Ever wonder why some toothpastes foam a lot? DEA is the reason why. That might not sound bad because foamy toothpastes might feel like you’re cleaning your teeth better, but DEA is an ingredient that’s found in brake fluid and antifreeze too. And it’s known to induce hepatic choline deficiency.
3. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) – This is a detergent that was originally used to clean floors, and it’s known to cause microscopic tears inside the mouth, leading to mouth ulcers. Many toothpastes still contain small amounts of SLS to provide that foaming, cleaning sensation.
4. Propylene Glycol – Used to improve the shelf life of products, propylene glycol is known to irritate the eyes, skin, lungs, and mucous membranes. The industrial-grade form of this ingredient can be found in paint, solvents, and antifreeze.
5. Carrageenan – Is a food additive used as a thickener, but it has been proven in animal studies to cause intestinal inflammation. In its degraded form, it is a carcinogen.
Other Ingredients to Look Out For
1. Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) – Titanium dioxide is added to toothpastes to make them look whiter. Although many studies suggest that it’s safe for use on the skin, there aren’t any studies suggesting the same when used orally. Further, it offers no benefits to the user whatsoever.
2. Sodium Saccharin – Artificial sweeteners are sometimes added to toothpastes to make their flavor more appealing. But it’s a known carcinogen in rats. Although there is no conclusive effect to support claims that it can harm humans as well, saccharin offers no oral health benefits.
3. Fluoride – Dental professionals recommend fluoride toothpastes, but it’s best not to go with just any over-the-counter one. Ingesting too much fluoride, especially in the case of children, can lead to fluorosis and cause a number of serious adverse health effects. It’s best to follow dentist recommendations.
Contrary to what many believe, fluoride is a natural ingredient. It’s a mineral that occurs naturally in water and soil. However, not everyone may want to have it as an ingredient in their toothpaste for one reason or another. Those who want to leave out fluoride may opt for fluoride-free instead. Keep in mind, though, that no fluoride-free toothpaste is better at decay prevention than traditional toothpaste.
Aside from being ‘green,’ organic toothpastes also carry another advantage. Kids who use non-fluoride toothpastes, especially the little ones who have trouble spitting out the toothpaste after brushing, have a low risk of developing fluorosis, which is caused by overexposure to fluoride.
White Dental believes in providing patients with choices.
We offer fluoride treatments, but we will also happily use fluoride-free ones if you prefer. Our staff will also review with you natural toothpaste products to help you select the right one for you. Call us at 541-708-6288 to book an appointment.