Brushing your teeth: it’s one of the most important rituals of your day. From the time you were a small child, its importance has been impressed upon you by parents, teachers, television commercials, and at every trip to the dental clinic. This is because food debris, when left untended to, can cause a buildup of plaque, which in turn can wear away tooth enamel and promote tooth decay. So it’s no exaggeration that brushing your teeth at least twice every day is one of your best defenses against tooth decay and cavities.
But have you ever looked into what’s in the toothpaste you use as part of this ritual? Chances are there are one or two things in most brands of toothpaste that will surprise you. Some of these things may seem innocuous enough; according to Kanata dental experts however, others are toxic in high enough quantities, or may cause more harm than good for your overall oral health. So what should you be wary of in your toothpaste? Next time you buy a new tube, watch out for:
Aspartame or Saccharine
Both of these ingredients are artificial sweeteners used to make toothpaste more enjoyable. But watch out! Your local Kanata dental clinic warns that both substances have amassed a number of health concerns. Consider seeking out a toothpaste with Xylitol, a sweetener in cavity-fighting toothpastes that is much healthier.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
This ingredient is tricky – technically, it is naturally-occurring and non-toxic. As such, it can slip under the radar of even the most health-conscious consumer. The tricky element lies in its side effects: it can, on occasion, cause microscopic tears in the tissue in your mouth, leading to irritation and an increased likelihood of oral ulcers and canker sores.
This colourless, faintly sweet compound is commonly found as an active ingredient in anti-freeze. While not every ingredient in a potentially hazardous chemical is bound to be equally toxic, prolonged exposure to propylene glycol has been linked abnormalities in brain, kidney, and liver function, and can be absorbed through the skin.
This controversial antimicrobial is found in many brands of toothpaste, Kanata dental experts warn. A common antifungal ingredient that is also found in soaps and detergents, it is often classified as a pesticide. There are strong concerns in the scientific community that it is harmful to humans when ingested, and may in fact be a cancer-causing chemical.
This is perhaps the most shocking – you may remember from many trips to your local dental clinic, that fluoride has long been considered an essential ingredient in strengthening teeth and fighting plaque. However, in more recent years, new findings suggest that sodium fluoride can, in fact, be toxic. Ingesting enough may induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases, death.
So when seeking out a new tube of toothpaste, remember these potentially harmful ingredients, and try to find an all-natural substitute, or a brand that does not use the aforementioned additives. When in doubt, consult your local Kanata dental practitioner on your next visit to the dental clinic to learn more about what brands of toothpaste may work best for you.