Do You Know What's In Your Toothpaste? Oral Health Expert Dr. Harold Katz Recommends Reading The Label And Steering Clear Of Toothpastes Made With These Toxic Ingredients.

You are diligent about reading food labels to make sure you are avoiding questionable or blatantly unhealthy ingredients, but have you turned over your toothpaste tube lately? Dentist and oral care health expert Dr. Harold Katz suggests walking in your bathroom right now and getting rid of toothpastes that have the following ingredients.
You are diligent about reading food labels to make sure you are avoiding questionable or blatantly unhealthy ingredients, but have you turned over your toothpaste tube lately? Dentist and oral care health expert Dr. Harold Katz suggests walking in your bathroom right now and getting rid of toothpastes that have the following ingredients.

Toothpaste is in your mouth every day

It's one thing to occasionally eat or drink things that fall short of being good for you but toothpaste is a personal product we put in our mouth every single day -- more than once a day. According to Dr. Katz, who is the author of The Bad Breath Bible and founder of Therabreath, many ingredients in some commercial toothpastes are of questionable benefit and some are just plain bad for you. He applauds the growing awareness of consumers who avoid hidden toxins in foods, beverages, and eating and drinking utensils, but stresses the importance of taking the same diligence in oral care products.

Avoid toothpastes with hidden toxins

Dr. Katz recommends ditching toothpastes with the following ingredients.

1. FD&C blue dye No. 2

This commonly used toothpaste dye is one of several on the list of additives to avoid, maintained by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Dr. Katz warns, "It’s said to be linked to learning, behavioral and health problems, severe allergic reactions, and headaches, among other problems."

2. Sodium lauryl sulfate

Do you really want to put corrosive ingredients or detergent on your teeth? According to Dr. Katz, the American College of Toxicology reports that sodium lauryl sulfate, found in toothpastes, cosmetics and industrial cleaning agents, can cause skin corrosion and irritation and has been linked to other medical issues. "Sodium lauryl sulfate has been linked to canker sores," the dental expert adds. "Toothpastes that are free of sulfates include Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste, TheraBreath and Tom’s of Maine."

3. Triclosan

Triclosan is an anti-microbial ingredient that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists as a pesticide and regulates its use in over-the-counter toothpastes and hand soaps. According to the agency’s fact sheet, "Studies on the thyroid and estrogen effects led the EPA to determine that more research on the potential health consequences of endocrine effects of triclosan is warranted. … Because of the amount of research being planned and currently in progress, it will undertake another comprehensive review of triclosan beginning in 2013."

4. Saccharin and aspartame

It's nice to have a toothpaste be both effective in promoting dental health and taste good, but not at the expense of introducing toxins into the body. Dr. Katz says, "Saccharin and aspartame are artificial sweeteners that are on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of additives to avoid."

Natural ingredients are best

Toothpaste buyers should look for natural ingredients, such as aloe vera juice, which cleans and soothes teeth and gums and helps fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's clinical, peer-reviewed journal. "Aloe vera tooth gel is said to kill disease-causing bacteria in the mouth," says Dr. Katz.

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