Shopping for Toothpaste

verdungal Community Member April 18, 2008
  • Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, especially for those with diabetes.

     

    After learning of the toxic chemicals found in health care products and toothpastes from companies selling top brands, I decided to shop for a more natural and safe toothpaste. So off to the health food store to check out the ingredients in the various brands of the

    Natural Products . I figured if it was natural ,it should be safe and would not contain harmful chemicals. I was looking in particular for a toothpaste that did not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.. Was I surprised! Many companies that claims to use natural safe ingredients were putting SLS in there toothpaste just like Colgate and Crest.

     

    When I returned home I decided to do more research and check out the ingredient in various toothpaste brands on the internet.

     

    We all know the active ingredient in toothpaste - typically it's sodium fluoride. But sodium fluoride makes up less than one percent of toothpaste ingredients. What's the other 99% of toothpaste made up of? If most of what goes into toothpaste is labelled as inactive ingredients, why are these chemicals there? What do they do? And what exactly am I putting in my mouth? Here are my findings.

    Toothpaste Ingredients - Active Ingredients
    The active ingredients are what help to protect and strengthen your teeth. However, different toothpastes contain different functions, and thus may have differing active ingredients. For example, while ordinary toothpaste may only contain sodium fluoride as an active ingredient, a tartar control toothpaste may also contain triclosan as an anti-gingivitis agent.

    Sodium Flouride
    A typical percentage of sodium fluoride found in toothpaste is .24%. Sodium fluoride is thought to strengthen teeth through the formation of flouroapatite, a component of tooth enamel. Besides toothpaste, sodium fluoride was used in the production of ceramics and rat poison .

    Triclosan

    Triclosan is a antibacterial and antifungal organic compound . Some studies have shown that the popular Microban treatment you can find embedded into any number of hard surfaces contains Triclosan.  There are some health concerns regarding the use of Triclosan.   The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment.  Reports have suggested that triclosan can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform gas, which the United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable human carcinogen.. As a result, triclosan was the target of a UK cancer alert, even though the study showed that the amount of chloroform generated was less than amounts often present in chlorinated drinking waters.

     

    Toothpaste Ingredients - Inactive Ingredients

    Hydrated Silica

    This is the abrasive used to polish and scrub the surface of your teeth in gel toothpastes.  If you dry out hydrated silica you get the common silica gel found inside pepperoni packages and electronics.  Silica gel absorbs water, so it is placed in littel packets (coincidentally labelled, "Do Not Eat"  inside packages of electronics and other items susceptible to damage from high humidity or water condensation . The water absorbing ability of silica gel also makes it a perfect ingredient for cat litter. 


  • Sorbitol

    After water, this is one of the top ingredients in toothpastes.  Sorbitol is a form of sugar.Sorbitol's use in toothpaste is three-fold  As a sweetener, it gves toothpaste a pleasant taste.  It is  also a humectant, helping toothpaste stay moist.  As an emulsifier, sorbitol works to keep the ingredient in toothpaste from "shifting.  Ever notice that  you don't have to shake a tube oftoothpaste to mix it up?  An emulsifier keeps the ingredients mixed up.


    Glycerine
    PVM/MA Copolymer

    This may sound scary, but the PVM/MA copolymer is a water fixative found in hairspray that does a wonderful job of making triclosan stick to your oral tissues longer. In other words, it helps triclosan stay on your teeth and gums where it can kill bacteria, rather than getting rinsed away.
     
    Sodium Laurel Sulfate

    You can find this detergent in just about any toothpaste that creates lots of suds.  When you brush your teeth and the foam starts to appear, you can thank sodim laurel sulfate (SLS). Some studies link SLS to mouth ulcers. 

     

    Obviously not all toothpaste manufacturers use the exact same ingredients, but these are the main ingredients used in most toothpastes . So whatever your favourite toothpaste happens to be, take a look at the inactive ingredients and check out exactly you're putting in your mouth - the results may surprise you.

     

    So my message here is a simple one. Just because a company claims to be all natural or organic. Doesn't mean they are not using harmful or toxic chemicals in there products. The best way to product yourself is to learn to read the ingredients on everything you buy. Learn what some of those big words are and you will lead a healthier life.

     

     

2 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Joe G
    Apr. 27, 2008

    As a Canadian, I congratulate you on being the only

    Canadian I have so far seen in these shareposts.

    Because our Health Care system is totally different

    than in the US, we need a Canadian prespective

    for the many topics that involve our doctor (if we have one)

    and our medicare system.

    For example,I have a question for you-

    Do you know any place in CANADA, where...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    As a Canadian, I congratulate you on being the only

    Canadian I have so far seen in these shareposts.

    Because our Health Care system is totally different

    than in the US, we need a Canadian prespective

    for the many topics that involve our doctor (if we have one)

    and our medicare system.

    For example,I have a question for you-

    Do you know any place in CANADA, where you may be able

    to purchase byetta over the counter, without your doc

    prescription?

                        Thanks

                         Joe

    • verdungal
      Apr. 27, 2008

      Unfortunately I don't know where to purchase Byetta over the counter.  It is my husband who is the type 1 diabetic and uses Levemir Insulin  as prescribed by his doctor. .

      Regards

      Joan M