Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | November 15, 2012

The Fine Print: Ingredients to Avoid in Oral Care Products

Thousands of new personal care products flood the shelves of grocery, department and specialty stores every year, from lotions to sunscreen to toothpaste and lip balm. Most of us include these items in our everyday routine, and it’s hard to imagine living without them! But how do we as consumers make choices that are good for our bodies and our planet?

While we can’t claim to be experts on everything (although wouldn’t it be great if we could?), we do have some tips when it comes to choosing oral care products that will keep your mouth in top shape and do minimal harm to our delicate planet.

So, here it is. Our golden nugget of advice…drumroll please….

Read. Your. Labels.

We can’t stress this enough! Many people only check food labels, but consider that the blood vessels in our mouths are very close to the surface, which means that chemicals we place in our mouths are readily absorbed into our bloodstreams. The Environmental Working Group has a great personal care products database where you can research specific products, but here are some of the common ingredients found in toothpastes, mouth rinses and lip balms that you should consider avoiding.

The damage from these ingredients doesn’t stop with us. When these nasty compounds make their way down your drain, they can wreak havoc on our eco-system and harm wildlife.  There are many healthy and effective alternatives for these ingredients. Look for oral care products that include things like organic aloe vera, which helps cleanse the teeth and gums while soothing your entire mouth, or which contain organic essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and anise.  These natural compounds are tasty and known for their anti-bacterial and breath-freshening properties.

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Responses

  1. […] organic lip balm from Saffron Rouge or Pangea Organics, natural mouth rinse and dental floss, and triclosan-free toothpaste. If you’re shopping for a sweet tooth, satisfy their cravings with xylitol-sweetened treats, which […]

  2. I should list down this ingredients for my next grocery shopping, for example, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, im kinda familiar with this, i am so obsessed when it comes to toothpaste and mouthwash thus i always read their labels, if im not mistaken i’ve seen this compound in a certain “well known” toothpaste brand, better check your toothpaste now : )

    • What a fantastic idea! Keeping a list while you shop is a wonderful way to keep track of what to “avoid”. And unfortunately, you’re right. Many of the most popular toothpaste brands are packed with toxic ingredients! Thanks for the tip!


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