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Dangerous Ingredients: Dental Surgeon Talks About Health Concerns In Your Toothpaste

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We all know that brushing our teeth is essential to good oral health and dental care, but ever stop to think about what's in the toothpaste we use everyday?

We chatted with Dr. Shahkaram, a DDS specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry for over 10 years, and got her professional take on what ingredients we should be on the lookout for.

"Toothpaste is essential to properly clean and protect your teeth," Dr. Shahkarami said. " Toothpaste has different chemicals in it that work together to clean teeth. Some of these chemicals, however, are controversial."

According to Dr. Shahkarami, consumers should be aware of the following:

Sodium Laurel Sulfate. "SLS is a detergent and cleansing agent used to thicken and 'foam up' products, and is therefore widely used in toothpastes and shampoos," the expert explained. 

When absorbed, Dr. Shahkarami says SLS can mimic oestrogen which has many health implications varying from problems with PMS and menopausal symptoms to male dropping fertility and increased female cancers such as breast cancer.  

"SLS can also lead to ulcers in the mouth.  Manufacturers claim though, that the amount of SLS present in toothpaste cannot cause harm.
 Tom's of Maine ($4) as well as many other natural toothpastes sold at health food stores such as Whole Foods offer SLS free versions of their toothpastes."

Triclosan. Dr. Shahkarami says Tricolsan is used as an anti-bacterial agent which has been said to help gingivitis and is most widely used in Colgate' Total toothpaste. 

"Triclosan has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide while scientists categorize it as a chlorophenol which is suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects," the physician explained. 

"There are many commercial toothpaste alternatives that don't contain Triclosan and of course Tom's of Maine and the other natural toothpastes don't contain Triclosan."

More ingredients in your toothpaste that you should be aware of set to come your way tomorrow!

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