It's all in the details. Ever stop to read what actually is in your toothpaste? Some of the ingredients are pretty controversial.
We talked with Dr. Shahkarami, a DDS specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry and learned a whole lot we didn't know before. If you missed Part One, click here. Now read on to learn what other ingredients you should watch out for:
Artificial Sweeteners: "Again, Tom's of Maine and the other natural toothpastes flavor their formulas with natural ingredients such as spearmint oils or natural cinnamon flavors. They list all their ingredients online," the expert said.
Fluroide. Fluoride is very important for patient's of all ages. Dr. Shahkarami says that as children we need it to help strengthen teeth as they are developing and since the inception of water fluoridation, the rate of decay has dropped significantly.
"However, there have been studies showing there has been over-fluoridation of water and the evidence manifests as fluorosis in teeth which which are white areas of discoloration," Shahkarami explained. "Fluoride is the single most important ingredient though in preventing tooth decay."
"It does so by remineralizing areas of teeth where acid damage has occurred. Our own saliva contains fluoride, and as we get older many of us have decreased salivary flow or xerostomia either due to medications or medical conditions," she told us. "Inadequate salivary flow places an individual at a higher risk for decay, so use of fluoridated toothpastes are especially important as we get older."
Studies are conflicted on the negative effects of fluoride. Some say the downside can include allergies, lower IQ, Alzheimers disease and cancer. Dr. Shahkarami says it is, however, very hard to get over-fluoridated through toothpaste unless a person is swallowing copious amounts of toothpaste regularly.
"Again, Tom's of Maine and several other natural toothpaste brands offer a variety of toothpaste without many or all of the ingredients listed above. I would warn though against eliminating fluoride from regular dental care as the benefits far outweigh the risks."
What brand of toothpaste do you use? Tell us with a note below!
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