Shalini Mittal5/ 4/18

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Brushing your teeth, right? It is a very healthy habit after all. Usually, it is recommended to brush your teeth at least two times a day. It is as vital an activity as any other like eating, sleeping etc. Benefits of brushing are known to almost everyone.

But do you ever wait and think about the toothpaste you are using? It is a chemical product after all. Do you ever flip the pack of your toothpaste and see the chemical composition? I bet you haven’t because if you did you would be astonished as to how much chemical products are being used in the manufacture of a simple toothpaste. This is a point to be contemplated upon because an average American uses up to 20 gallons of toothpaste in his entire lifetime.

According to a finding done by the Cornucopia Institute, dangerous non-essential ingredients were found in various toothpaste which is fatal to humans. Moreover, dangerous endocrine disruptors, inflammatory agents, and carcinogens were also found in famous brands of toothpaste and some of them were even marketed as “natural”. These popular brands are putting the lives of our families at risk and including toxins in the toothpaste. Astonishingly, no regulatory authority is concerned with this matter and no strong regulation has come into effect.

The manufacturers are using these toxic chemicals to achieve effective results and increase their sales without even a drop of concern for what these chemicals may do to their own customers.

If you have been caught off guard by this dire situation, then fret not. It is our responsibility to know better and take actions which will benefit our families. This article will mention the different kinds of chemical products used in our toothpaste and what effect they can have on us so that you can take the right decision and protect the well-being of your family.

  1. Flouride

Flouride is one of the main ingredients in a wide variety of toothpaste across brands. The malevolent and benevolent behavior of fluoride and its use in dental products have been argued for many years with no one unanimous agreement. However, it has both its ups and downs.

Flouride is known to help prevent tooth decay and hence found in various toothpaste. It is a mineral. Many facts back the use of fluoride in dental products. For example, a U.S. Public Health Service review of data and research concluded that they did not find any evidence that Flouride causes cancer in humans.

However, Flouride affects the small children the most who have a tendency to ingest toothpaste. It can cause skin rashes and stomach problems in kids. This has been a concern lately and all the toothpaste which have Flouride in it have to compulsorily print a warning label.

  1. Triclosan

Triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient which is also found abundantly in the toothpaste. This chemical is banned for use in various cleansing products like detergent but still makes an appearance in our toothpaste, which indeed is an alarming situation and raises many questions. The best argument that many people have in support for this chemical to remain in our toothpaste is that it is very effective in fighting with plaque and gingivitis. Many companies argue that the benefits of this chemical outweigh its risks. But, obviously, many other people do not concur with such point of view. Many studies have found that Triclosan interferes with our hormonal system can cause a wide array of health risks in humans. This may include weakened heart function, deformations in bone etc.

Even in recent times, the use and effects of Triclosan is mostly a grey area with no definite argument for any side.

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 

This chemical is the foaming agent which is found in a wide variety of products ranging from detergents to toothpaste. The foam we experience when we brush our teeth is formed due to the presence of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This chemical is considered as an insecticide and is known for various health risks and problems in humans such as skin irritation, eye irritation etc. and in worst case scenarios, they start to accumulate in our bodies and may affect our heart and liver. They also combine with different elements whilst accumulating in our bodies and may become carcinogenic in later stages.

  1. Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic compound. It is colorless, viscous liquid with a faint sweet smell. They find themselves used in a lot of different industrial areas such as antifreeze and paints. In our toothpaste, they act as wetting agents. Since they are chemicals, they also pose a health risk to us. The chemical is known to be absorbed through the skin and hence prolonged exposure to Propylene Glycol should be avoided at all costs. In long-term, they can cause various kidney and brain disorders. However, the short-term toxicity of this chemical was found to be quite low in humans. Because of this low toxicity, it is marked as safe for its use in various consumer products.

  1. Parabens

These are the most common additives found in various household products including cosmetics and toothpaste. Parabens are harmful when it comes to humans. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and can mimic the hormone Estrogen. They have been known to bind to Estrogen receptors causing cells to multiply, increasing the risk of breast cancer in women. So, when you are buying toothpaste the next time you should watch out for the following chemicals:

  1. Methylparaben
  2. Ethylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  1. Propylparaben
  2. Butylparaben 

The aim of this article was definitely not to petrify you to never use a toothpaste again in your life but to inform you about various synthetic chemicals that are used. What we can do ourselves is to stay alert and reject any product which is infested with huge quantities of chemicals. Prevention is always better than cure.

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