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Can You Trust Your Toothpaste?

By on September 26, 2014
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Why would there ever be plastic inside your toothpaste?
Toothpaste is supposed to help clean your teeth. But for some Crest toothpaste users, that leftover food is just being replaced with tiny microbeads.Crest says that won’t be the case for long, however, as the maker of Crest toothpastes, Procter & Gamble, announced today that it will cease including the microbeads in their products and that all toothpastes containing the tiny polyethylene plastic balls will be off the shelves within six months.”We currently have products without microbeads for those who would prefer them,” the company wrote in an email to media.

The company began receiving pushback for their toothpastes’ ingredients after a story about the concerns of a Texas dental hygienist, Trish Walraven, grabbed the attention of online readers and got picked up by a range of local news sites. Walraven complained that she was continually finding the microbeads trapped under her patients’ gums.

“Polyethylene plastic is in your toothpaste for decorative purposes only,” Walraven wrote on her personal blog. “This is unacceptable not only to me, but to many, many hygienists nationwide. We are informing our patients.”

Some other smaller brands employ the same types of beads, but Crest toothpastes are the most prominent to use the plastic specks. The beads are approved for use in foods and healthcare products (like toothpaste and face scrubs) by the FDA.

But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a good idea.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says they’re not planning on rescinding their seal of approval from Crest products that contain microbeads.

“The Council will continue to monitor and evaluate new scientific information on this issue as it becomes available,” the ADA said in a statement. “In the meantime, the ADA recommends that individuals continue to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) recommendations on the use of dental health care products.”