According to the ABC News report you can watch below, these plastic toothpaste microbeads are made from one of the world’s most common forms of plastic.
That material, used to make plastic bottles, is used for color in some toothpaste, and is approved by the FDA.
The culprit ingredient to look for on ANY tube of toothpaste would be Polyethylene.
This is the FDA approved food additive that according to Proctor & Gamble (the manufacturer of Crest toothpaste), are completely safe FDA approved food additives used for color.
How Did We Come To Learn About Toothpaste Containing Plastic Microbeads?
Enter Trish Walravenan RDH, active blogger and social media maven, who just so happens to be a real-life dental hygienist at this The Colony, TX. dental office.
Trish first started blogging about something strange she noticed in patient mouths, all the way back in March of this year:
“When I clean people’s gums, a lot of times when the water is flushing around, we would see a speck — and it would be blue — and gone.”
Walraven says she has been cleaning teeth for 22 years and now she’s speaking out about microbeads.
Is Toothpaste Containing Microbeads Safe?
As pointed out in the video, P&G goes on to say, “Years of clinical research show no evidence of particles persisting underneath the gumline or causing harm.”
The FDA chimes in to say they are, “…not immediately aware of any safety issues with this product.”
To cut through all of the chaff and chatter, and to make a simple assumption, these plastic microbeads are probably not harmful…as far as we know right now – as supported by “years of clinical research” – but that doesn’t mean they’re beneficial either.
And just because what we know now says these microbeads are safe in toothpaste, doesn’t mean that more research, time, & technology could prove that hypothesis totally wrong.
Furthermore, since this polyethylene – what these toothpaste microbeads are made of – is actually a food additive, which is also used to make plastic bottles and only used for color in some toothpastes, how safe can it be for human consumption?
To be fair, the idiot light warning to not swallow or consume toothpaste is right on the tube, but what else do we eat or use for personal hygiene that contains these plastic microbeads?
Certainly more questions than answers at this point, but the authorities we need to turn to for answers to these questions aren’t government bureaucracies or television news outlets.
After all, if it weren’t for Trish’s keen attention to detail in treating her patients, we may never have known about toothpaste microbeads.
To be absolutely positive you’ll get the correct answer, ask a dental hygienist or a dentist if you’re concerned about toothpastes that contain these microbeads…or any other oral health issue!
So What Other Toothpastes Contain Microbeads?
That one is difficult to say without doing a comprehensive grocery isle audit of toothpaste ingredients.
According to this Good Morning America video, most of the toothpastes using polyethylene as an ingredient are made by Crest.
If we should encounter a random tube of toothpaste we think might contain these microbeads, simply check the ingredients label on the back of the toothpaste tube for polyethylene – the offending microbead ingredient.
Now, watch this video to get a chuckle from this oldie but goodie about a different type of bleads…
For some tips on how to choose the best toothpaste, check out the infographic below – but don’t forget you can always text, email, Facebook, Tweet, or even call your trusted local dentist if you just can’t figure out which toothpaste doesn’t contain plastic microbeads.
( Infographic source: Animated-Teeth.com )
Got Questions About Toothpaste Containing Microbeads? Call Our Midtown Manhattan Dentist Office
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This post originally appeared on Dental Patient News and has been republished with permission.