Katherine - posted on 03/25/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )
We can all go a bit bonkers worrying about the ingredients in everything our kids eat or put in their mouths. But it's what we have to do. No one is going to willingly give their kid a sippy cup made of BPA now that we know what we know, right? Which is why we need to take a closer look at toothpaste. Specifically the tiny print listing the ingredients of what's in that stuff that's supposed to clean our kids' teeth.
Some toothpastes have toxins in them. Toxins that could be linked to learning and behavioral issues, along with other health problems. This is unacceptable, and yet it is accepted.
There are far too many toxins in the things we use every day. Formaldehyde was in baby shampoo and many cosmetics are made with really horrifying things you wouldn't dare want near your eyes or mouth and yet we use them all the time. The industry just isn't regulated so it's up to the consumer to make smarter purchases. Which is why we need to read ingredients -- in everything.
Dentist and national oral health care expert Harold Katz urges all parents to read the toothpaste tubes before purchasing to make sure the following ingredients are not listed:
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. It’s said to be linked to learning, behavioral, and health problems, severe allergic reactions, and headaches, among other problems.
Sodium lauryl sulfate: The American College of Toxicology reports this ingredient in cosmetics and industrial cleaning agents can cause skin corrosion and irritation. Doses of 0.8 to 110 grams/kilogram in lab rats caused depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, and death in 4 out of 20 animals.
Triclosan: An anti-microbial ingredient, the federal Environmental Protection Agency lists triclosan 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 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.”
Saccharin and aspartame: Both of these artificial sweeteners are on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of additives to avoid.
There are many natural ingredients that help fight cavities -- like aloe vera juice and green tea extract. And another thing to remember ... you only need a pea-sized drop to brush teeth. This is especially important when it comes to kids. And of course, we have to make sure they don't swallow the toothpaste.
Did you check the ingredients in your kids' toothpaste? Your own? Will you be changing brands?
From The Stir