Know Your Label
Many of you may already know the inspiration for ORL happened just a few years ago grocery shopping in the personal care aisle.
Looking at the ingredients listed on the back of a children's toothpaste tube from a major national brand was shocking. (See example) . Not only the number of poisons and harmful ingredients listed - but the fact that there was (and still is!) a warning label above the ingredients advising:
"Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidently swallowed, get medical help or dial (412) 390-3381 right away (Poison Control Center)1."
What was even more shocking about this warning label was the fact that this label was on one of the leading NATURAL toothpaste brands that boasts healthy, low-toxic ingredients. However, when you take a closer look at the ingredients, that is not the case.
Many brands that claim to be low-toxic or natural still include a plethora of harmful and artificial ingredients that most consumers are not aware of. These popular oral care products can cause a low acidic pH that can be harmful to your overall health and in particular to teeth and gums. That’s why we wanted to educate consumers on what ingredients to look out for when reading labels going forward!
When looking at a toothpaste label some of the main ingredients to stay away from include: sodium lauryl sulfate, hydrated silica, and glycerin.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, often shortened to SLS (and also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate), is typically used to help toothpaste glide over your teeth better or to create the foam or the foaming sensation in your mouth. However, SLS causes irritation especially for those prone to canker sores. It also can cause serious skin irritation and damage and is harmful if swallowed. Additionally, it is usually made from petroleum or palm oil which is an environmental concern2.
Hydrated silica, a form of silicon dioxide, is typically made from sand and used as an abrasive in toothpaste to remove plaque. Although the abrasively levels of hydrated silica in toothpaste is measured by the American Dental Association, toothpastes that contain hydrated silica can strip away enamel and dentin, creating sensitivity and potential gum recession3.
Glycerin is another ingredient found in most common toothpastes. This ingredient is what gives toothpaste its creamy texture. It’s used to help a substance retain water and can make toothpaste glide over teeth better too. That said, it will attract moisture from whatever its closest source is, even if that means drying out your tissues to get it. “This can dehydrate the skin, even to the point of blistering,” Healthline cautions4.
These are just a few of the toxic ingredients that many natural toothpastes still include. Make sure to look at all the ingredients on the back of your toothpaste tube. If you want to learn more, check out our comparison tool to see if your current toothpaste contains any harmful ingredients!
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