A concerned mother called my office once with an intriguing question. “Is it possible that my daughter can get sick from brushing her teeth with her toothpaste?” I asked her what type of toothpaste she was using and it was one of the popular name-brand toothpastes on the market.
Her daughter was 6 years old and she apparently sucked on her toothbrush a lot because she really liked the flavor of the toothpaste. The mother also commented that she probably swallowed much of the toothpaste during her brushing as well.
Several years ago, I investigated this topic and I discovered that all toothpastes are definitely not alike. What I found is that many name-brand toothpastes contain potentially harmful ingredients that can pass through the tissues of your mouth and enter the blood stream and circulate throughout the entire body.
I knew there was sodium fluoride in the toothpaste. There is much controversy about the benefits verses the dangers of this chemical. Experts who condone this chemical say if used in small dosages it helps prevent cavities. I’ve heard this argument many times. However I just don’t feel comfortable using an ingredient that is also found in rat poison.
Surprisingly, fluoride has never been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Numerous studies over the past 15-20 years have continued to report that fluoride has been shown to not reduce cavities. Scientists are now linking fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis and many allergic reactions found in our bodies (“The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson and “Fluoride- the Aging Factor” by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis).
In children and youth, minimal ingestion of sodium fluoride causes salivation, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, and diarrhea. I witnessed this event in my office years ago after I administered a fluoride treatment to a young child that accidently swallowed the gel. Sure enough, within 5 minutes he was throwing up in my bathroom.
Just read the label on any major brand toothpaste. You’ll see they are loaded with dangerous toxins and chemicals other than sodium fluoride, such as triclosan, FD&C Blue Dye #1 and 2, sodium lauryl sulfate, and hydrated silica. All of these common ingredients have been found to be harmful to humans. (From the “Safe Shoppers Bible”)
Triclosan, a chemical used for its antibacterial properties, is found in pesticides, detergents and toothpaste. However, the formulation of this ingredient is similar to some of the most toxic chemicals on earth.
FD&C Blue Dye #1 and #2 have been shown in studies to trigger a wide number of behavioral, learning and health problems. Exposure to these dyes seems ill advised since they are synthesized from petroleum.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a dangerous ingredient used in personal care products. Due to its foaming properties it gives the impression that the toothpaste is working. However, SLS has been found to be quite corrosive and harmful to skin tissue according to reports by the American College of Toxicity.
Hydrated Silica is a whitener that can damage your tooth enamel. It is primarily used as an abrasive in toothpaste however it can harm the enamel and prevent re-mineralization. You should avoid this ingredient especially if you have gum disease, tooth decay, tooth sensitivity or receding gums.
If this information concerns you, be aware that health risks from chemicals and toxins in oral hygiene products are the most avoidable of all the health risks we face. You don’t have to be a biochemist to get these risks out of your life. It’s as simple as changing brands.
The response to that concerned mother’s questions is definitively “yes, you can get sick from your toothpaste.” Buyers beware is my answer. Do your homework, educate yourself and be pro-active as you continue to make healthy choices for you, your family and friends.
If you Google “Natural Toothpastes”, you can find many alternatives choices to the popular, name-brand toothpastes. Or contact our office and our staff can provide you with information on healthier dental products.