A new study suggests the average American will use 20 gallons of toothpaste in their lifetime. That’s a lot of toothpaste. When you think about how much kids swallow when brushing, it gets a little scary. But, even as adults, it doesn’t matter if you swallow it or not, the membranes in the mouth absorb small amounts of the ingredients found in toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Studies are finding elements that have the potential to cause cancer, allergies, and other dangerous conditions at an alarming rate in cosmetic products. The most concerning of those products are toothpaste and mouthwash.
When the FDA announced earlier this month it was banning the sale of soaps, with certain antibacterial and antifungal additives, the dental community began to wonder about one of the 19 additives banned called triclosan. Their concern revolved around the fact that it is found in toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Triclosan was initially brought to market as a pesticide. It’s now used in many personal care products and even athletic clothing. Just a few of the side effects related to this additive include hormonal disruption, allergy development, environmental concerns and even cancer. In many studies, it has been linked to tumors in mice.
It’s widely known that the United States has some of the most lenient laws in regards to the regulation of potentially harmful ingredients in products sold and marketed to consumers. Europe has banned over 1,300 ingredients used in cosmetic and hygiene products while the U.S. has only banned 11.
Toothpaste made by the same companies are completely different ingredient-wise depending on if they are sold in the U.S. or Europe to accommodate Europe’s strict safety regulations. This means the products can be made in a safer way while maintaining their effectiveness but only when required due to increased costs for safer ingredients.
The biggest factors inhibiting American consumers from making safe choices are the self-regulated packaging claims made by brands and the unpronounceable words found on the ingredients lists. Even after checking the labels to be sure the product doesn’t contain the ones you know are dangerous, you may be surprised to find that those ingredients are actually in the product, just called by different names.
When searching for a safe but effective toothpaste for you or your family, be sure to consult your dentist. Dr. Collins is happy to help you find the right one for you. Call the office at 509-368-7788 if you have any questions or want to schedule and appointment.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788