Ever wonder what the best toothpaste is out there? Brand loyalty with toothpaste is pretty serious stuff these days. Most families have been using either Crest or Colgate since their kids were babies! Admit it you know which brand you like the most. However, do you really know why you like that “special brand” more than any other?
It is important to check that your toothpaste doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. These can include, ammonia, benzyl alcohol/sodium benzoate, ethanol, fluoride, formaldehyde, mineral oil, plastic (PVC) and saccharin (sweetener).
Why not switch up your toothpaste now and again? Try limiting your fluoride usage. Eco-Savy strongly recommends trying “natural care Tom’s” brand. Tom’s of Maine has been around for over 40 years and run a responsible business that is both socially and environmentally conscious and all products are natural and involve absolutely no animal testing or fluoride! In fact, Tom’s of Maine have actually challenged the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) to accept a non-animal-testing alternative for fluoride toothpaste which “once-upon-a-time” was an immense initiative to accomplish! (Note: if you want to buy Tom’s toothpaste, go to the Eco-Store – it’s in the Home and Bathroom section).
So what is the big hype around fluoride anyways? Most scientists believe that small amounts of fluoride in the diet can help prevent dental caries and strengthen bone, yet others are worried about the dosage levels associated with toxicity. Specifically, there are a number of adverse affects that chronic ingestion at high doses can have on human health, including dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, increased rates of bone fractures, decreased birth rates, increased rates of urolithiasis (kidney stones), impaired thyroid function, and lower intelligence in children .
In a recent report by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, studies are showing that fluoride interferes with brain function in young animals and in children, reducing ID . Some European countries have even banned most forms of fluoride products and are investigating bans on fluoride toothpaste.
The most concerning issue regarding fluoride toothpaste is with children. It is crucial parents with children younger than 7 apply only a small (pea-sized) amount of fluoride toothpaste on the toothbrush and discourage swallowing . Poison control centers across the United States report several fluoride overdoses each year, primarily by children, and usually due to ingestion of too much fluoride toothpaste or some home fluoride product (i.e. mouthwash). The main reason is because a full bottle/tube of toothpaste contains more fluoride than the acute toxic dose for a child 5 mg/kg (a one – time ingestion of about 400 mg for an adult or 100 mg for a child) .
In the end it is up to you what you choose to use as toothpaste. Just always remember to read the label and make yourself aware of the chemicals in your everyday products. Since toothpaste is something we use EVERYDAY, it makes it that much more important.
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 Ozsvath, D. (2009) Fluoride and environmental health: a review. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, 8(1), 59-79
 Toxic Overload (A Doctor’s Plan for Combating the Illnesses Caused by Chemicals in Our Foods, Our Homes, and Our Medicine Cabinets), by Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton.
 British Dental Journal (1999) Fluoride ingestion from toothpaste by young children. 186, 460 – 462
 The Fluoride Wars: How a Modest Public Health measure Became America’s Longest-Running Political Melodrama (2008)