The last time you went shopping for toothpaste, what were you looking for? If you are like most people, chances are good that you wanted something that would help clean and whiten your teeth besides protecting them with fluoride and other chemicals. You probably didn’t read the list of ingredients, and even if you did, what would it mean to you? After all, what exactly is sodium lauryl ether sulfate anyway?
Many people don’t concern themselves with toothpaste ingredients since, after all, if it’s not swallowed, why does it matter? The truth is that the mouth-body connection has been proven, and what you put in your mouth, however briefly, can affect your overall health. It’s for this reason that the following ingredients should be avoided. Anyone with questions should contact a dentist near me. In the meantime, what follows is a list of toothpaste ingredients that should be avoided.
Titanium dioxide is an inorganic chemical that is added to make toothpaste white. Studies have shown that titanium dioxide is safe used as a topical, but its effects when absorbed in the mouth aren’t so clear. Inhalation is thought to be carcinogenic.
Triclosan is added to toothpaste as an antibacterial agent. Besides this, it is a pesticide that has been shown to affect hormone production.The government prohibits its use on your hands but allows it in your mouth. Go figure.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
If you like your toothpaste to produce lots of nice, white foam, you have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate to thank for it. Unfortunately, in other uses, it is a detergent and an insecticide that has been found to cause irritation and organ toxicity.
Fluoride has been used in toothpaste for years due to its remineralization of tooth structure. There’s a reason, however, that it also comes with a warning label: even small amounts can cause acute toxicity. Perhaps the most disturbing news about fluoride is that studies have shown that the amounts of this product in toothpaste won’t remineralize teeth either.
Manufacturers can’t sell toothpaste that isn’t pretty, so they add artificial coloring to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals have been shown in studies to increase hyperactivity in children.
Some toothpastes contain certain abrasives that help scrub biofilms from your teeth. The use of some abrasives is good, but some toothpastes contain too much that scratch the enamel and dentin coatings of teeth.
Parabens act as preservatives to lengthen the shelf life of toothpaste. The FDA is still conducting several studies on the safety of parabens, but so far, they are known to disrupt hormones. At the level they are used in most products they are considered “safe”, but the effects of long-term use is still unknown.
Propylene glycol is a chemical that is generally considered safe and is used as a surfactant. It is known to irritate the mucus membranes, skin, and lungs. In its industrial forms, it is used in antifreeze, detergents, and paint.
Saccharin is a chemical that is widely used as a sweetener. Studies to determine its effects as a carcinogen are still ongoing. It is also known to cause vomiting, coughing, nausea, and diarrhea.
Carrageenan is a known carcinogen that is extracted from the red seaweed plant. It is used in toothpaste as a thickener.
These 10 elements should be avoided in toothpaste, and as far as possible, in everything else too. What’s the alternative? Make your own toothpaste by mixing a small amount of baking soda and water.