Ingredient in toothpaste may lodge plastic beads in your gums

Posted on September 17, 2014 by

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“I didn’t have any clue what is was,” Trish Walraven, a dental hygienist, said about the strange blue dots that she kept seeing in her patient’s mouths. “We thought it was a cleaning product or something that people were chewing.”

As it turns out, some toothpastes contain little blue, plastic microbeads made of polyethylene – which is a plastic also used to make garbage containers, grocery bags and bullet proof vests.

Dentists say it shouldn’t be anywhere near your mouth.

“They’ll trap bacteria in the gums which leads to gingivitis, and over time that infection moves from the gum into the bone that holds your teeth and that becomes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is scary,” Dr. Justin Phillip, a dentist, told CNN.

Trish found that most of her patients who had the little blue dots in their mouths used Crest toothpaste, so she wrote a blog and posted it online. It garnered national attention, including a response from the makers of Crest.

Because of all the backlash from consumers, Crest says they will be removing the controversial ingredient and that most products will be microbead-free within six months.

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Posted in: Family safety