Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid
For your health, you must learn which toothpaste ingredients to avoid. All toothpaste should be safe to swallow, and not have a warning on the back.
Toothpaste ingredients can affect the health of your teeth and gums. But as a consumer, it's truly mind boggling choosing the safe one! Is it better to use a natural toothpaste, a tartar control toothpaste, a sensitive teeth toothpaste, a home-made recipe toothpaste or just plain old water?
Your mouth, specifically the tissues, provides a fast way to absorb ingredients from toothpaste and mouthwash into the body. Drugs such as nitroglycerine for heart conditions, vitamin supplements, and pain medications are often given under the tongue for fast absorption. Pain control and birth control patches are applied to the skin for delivery of the drug.
You may not be aware of it, but ingredients in toothpaste may be delivering a daily dose of antibiotics or other 'active ingredients' to you as you brush, especially if you have bleeding gums. Oh, the WARNING is on the back of the toothpaste, but who looks at that? With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, all toothpaste with fluoride, or claims for oral health, must add a WARNING on the back of the label.
What's in Your Toothpaste?
Fluoride is in most toothpaste, even children and baby toothpaste. The WARNING on the back of all toothpaste with fluoride is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include:
"Keep out of reach of children under the age of six. If more than used for brushing is swallowed, contact the nearest poison control center or your physician immediately."
The ingredients in children's toothpaste are important because children do not have the ability to spit before the age of six. To market their toothpaste to children, most brands add colorful dyes and candy flavors to make the child want to use the product. What they don't tell you is that if a child under the age of six swallows half of a tube of sparkly, bright colored toothpaste that tastes like bubble gum with fluoride, it could be fatal.
Other potentially harmful ingredients may include saccharin, antimicrobials, and harsh abrasives. Below is a partial list of some toothpaste ingredients to avoid.
If you ask your dentist for a toothpaste to recommend, they will most likely recommend the brand most often delivered for free in sample sizes to their office. The sales representative will include a research glossy page or 2 with pictures, paid by the brand to motivate the dentist to recommend it. Therefore, the dentist becomes free advertisement for the toothpaste brand. Unfortunately, dentists are unaware of the hazards of certain ingredients and which to warn their patients to avoid. The patient trusts the dentist's recommendation and buys the toothpaste.
Ingredients in Toothpaste and Mouthwash to Avoid
1. Saccharin - this ingredient has been on the on and off list of FDA
2. Antimicrobials - natural or synthetic can include tea tree oil,
alcohol and triclosan among others. These days found in many products,
such as deodorants, dish soap, hand and body soaps, shampoos, etc.
Antimicrobials are warned by Center for Disease Control that with over
use, could result in antibiotic resistant bacteria.
3. Abrasives - harsh abrasives in many toothpaste brands to whiten or remove stains, can actually cause sensitivity. "Abfractions" is a term used by the dental profession for tooth sensitivity that may be caused by aggressive brushing or abrasive toothpaste.
4. Chlorine dioxide - industrial bleach, used for bleaching wood, flour, and disinfection of municipal water.
5. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) - industrial detergent may cause canker sore, dry mouth and allergies.
6. Sodium hydroxide - NaOH, also known as lye or caustic soda, is a metallic base, used in textiles, drain cleaners and industrial detergents.
7. Salicylates - allergic reactions to products are becoming very common. Salicylic acid, the common Aspirin ingredient for inflammation, could be one of the causes. Always look for salicylate free products.
8. Herbal extracts - natural toothpaste ingredients often contain herbs. Herbs have side effects and drug interactions. With frequent use, they could also cause allergies. Many products add herbal extracts and oils for marketing and call their products 'natural'. National Health Institute (NIH) and MedlinePlusare an excellent source to check side effects of herbal and botanical ingredients. Another excellent resource is University of Maryland's Alternative Medicine Guide website.
9. PEG/PPG - polypropylene glycol is a surfactant used as a wetting agent, dispersant and in leather finishing.
More Oral Health Articles by Dr. Flora Stay
Choosing the Right Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Cleure oral health products are formulated to help you have a beautiful smile, safely.
- Salicylate free, and fluoride free
- Free of artificial sweeteners
- Formulated with xylitol. Studies report xylitol helps prevent tooth decay
- Baking soda toothpaste to help remove surface stain, helping to brightening your smile
- Toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate
- Made in the U.S.A.
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