A dental hygienist in Phoenix noticed something strange in the mouths of her patients… and spoke up about it. Now a toothpaste manufacturer is taking action.
The tiny plastic beads found in many popular toothpaste brands are approved by regulators, but dental professionals are becoming increasingly alarmed that the beads could cause more dental hygiene problems than they solve. The beads do not disintegrate and are not biodegradable, and dental professionals are concerned that they’re getting stuck in the tiny crevices between the teeth and gums.
Polyethylene plastic beads became all the rage in personal care products — including toothpastes, face washes and body scrubs – a few years ago. The microbeads are found in a variety of Crest products such as Crest 3D White and Crest Pro-Health. According to Crest, the product is really used only to provide color to toothpaste. Crest says the majority of its toothpaste will be microbead-free in six months. They’ll be completely gone by March 2016.
The American Dental Association, which endorses some Crest products, stands behind the beads, citing a lack of clinical evidence questioning their safety. At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene microbeads. If you want to make sure the product you’re using is microbead-free, take a look at the ingredient list and make sure it doesn’t include polyethylene.
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