Most people understand that brushing three times a day – along with flossing and mouthwash – is one of the best ways to keep the teeth healthy and to prevent more serious complications like gingivitis or cavities from developing in the future. The irony is, however, that brushing teeth can actually expose the mouth of additives and ingredients that are really not healthy for it. Below are six toothpaste ingredients to steer clear of.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)
It is especially good to steer clear of this ingredient in toothpaste if you are prone to canker sores; research has shown that SLS not only is linked to canker sore oubreaks, but can actually increase the number of canker sores that develop and can cause them to last longer as well. It has also been shown to increase cold sensitivity. As a foaming agent, too, it has no positive impact on oral health and does not get the teeth any cleaner than a paste without SLS.
This chemical was originally put into toothpaste because it was shown to help fight the bacteria which cause plaque for up to twelve hours at a stretch. Unfortunately, studies are increasing showing that it is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can have an adverse effect on the immune system.
Blue Dyes #1 and 2
While they do lend a pretty color to the toothpaste, these dyes have no beneficial impact on oral health and can actually cause some problem. If taken internally, these dyes can irritate the respiratory and/or digestive tract and have been linked to the development of behavioral trouble in children.
Everyone like a toothpaste that tastes good while you’re using it, but be careful to read the labels before you buy. Some toothpastes will use aspartame to make it taste better, but aspartame is linked to a whole array of side effects, including serious conditions like cancer. Use toothpaste with stevia or xylitol instead.
Originally an additive in toothpaste for purposes of stain removal, hydrated silica has been shown to actually damage the tooth enamel. If pearly whites are desired, try something as simple as baking soda, which will whiten the teeth quickly.
While alcohol is definitely good for killing off bacteria, it is also a drying agent that can actually make your mouth more vulnerable to future bacterial invasions. Herbals or natural mouthwashes are a better bet for oral health.
So the next time you purchase toothpaste, don’t just read the front label – which usually does not have the most straightforward information. Read the ingredients list which will tell you exactly what you are getting in the product and will heopfully education you when you make purchasing decisions for you and your family.