Is Your Toothpaste Toxic? - Heller Dental Associates - A premiere cosmetic dental practice in Easton Massachusetts

Heller Dental Associates

Is Your Toothpaste Toxic?

Is Your Toothpaste Toxic?

The average American will use over 20 gallons of toothpaste in their lifetime. That’s a lot of Crest! Considering how much quality time we spend with our favorite tubes, have you ever looked at the label? You might be surprised at what you find.


Fluoride (also known as Sodium Fluoride) is the active ingredient in most toothpastes. It’s also the reason your toothpaste comes with a poison warning label. That’s because if ingested in large amounts, it can be dangerous. But fluoride can be a useful tool to help fight off cavities, as long as you’re using no more than the recommended dosage.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is a cleaning agent that can be found in many toothpastes, soaps and shampoos. It’s what makes them foam. But there’s been a push away from SLS toothpastes in recent years due to research that show it can cause painful canker sores. 70% of people in a study reported fewer canker sores — or mouth ulcers — when they switched to an SLS-free toothpaste. However, another “blind study” in which participants were not told if they were using an SLS or SLS-free toothpaste reported no reduction in the number or frequency of canker sores, but did say they healed faster on SLS-free paste. So while the jury is out on the side effects of SLS in toothpaste, if you find yourself dealing with uncomfortable mouth ulcers, you might want to conduct your own experiment and see if switching to an SLS-free toothpaste helps.

Activated Charcoal

Thanks to YouTube, activated charcoal has gained popularity as an alternative to traditional toothpaste in recent years. Whether or not it works as a whitener is debatable. But charcoal, although not necessarily toxic in smaller doses, is a strong abrasive that could damage the enamel of your teeth.

If you’re concerned about what’s in your toothpaste, schedule a consulation with Dr. Heller to discuss how to keep your teeth clean without harming your health!



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