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Do you use Crest’s 3D Whitening, or Pro-Health toothpaste? If you do, you may be at risk for some major dental hygiene problems.

Have you ever wondered what those tiny, blue beads mixed into your toothpaste are used for? According to Crest, their only function is to provide color to the toothpaste. But, they do a lot more damage than that. These beads are made of polyethylene plastic – also used in certain types of face washes, garbage containers, and grocery bags. They aren’t biodegradable. In fact, a similar type of cosmetic microbeads in Illinois were banned in 2014 because they were killing mass amounts of marine life. Because of their tiny size, they weren’t filtered out during the sewage-treatment process, and consequently, were released into the ocean. 

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While these polyethylene plastic beads in your toothpaste won’t kill you, it can cause gingivitis, and if not treated, periodontal disease. These beads will get shoved deep into the cracks between your gums and teeth. And, because they don’t dissolve, they will stay there and expose your gums to more bacteria, which causes gingivitis. If not treated, they will move from your gums to the bones that hold your teeth in place. This is will trigger periodontal disease – a very serious dental health issue. 

Some dentist have already actively spoken against this toothpaste. Dental hygienist Trish Walraven from Texas spoke about the damaging side effects it’s caused her patients saying,

“This is unacceptable not only to me, but to many, many hygienists nationwide. We are informing our patients. We are doing research separately and comparing notes. And until Procter & Gamble gives us a better reason as to why there is plastic in your toothpaste, we would like you to consider discontinuing the use of these products.” 

According to the American Dental Association, there is no scientific proof that these beads cause damage. They will continue to give their ADA Seal-Accepted product approval until more evidence can be gathered. 

But, because of the growing alarm in the dental industry, Crest has agreed to take the beads out of all of their toothpaste – effective in March 2016. A Crest manufacturer told ABC15,

“While the ingredient in question is completely safe, approved for use in foods by the FDA, and part of an enjoyable brushing experience for millions of consumers with no issues, we understand there is a growing preference for us to remove this ingredient. So we will.”

So, what can you do if you own any of these Crest products? You can take them back to your retailer and let them know why you’re returning them, or voice your complaint to Procter & Gamble, the manufacturers of Crest. Otherwise, simply switch over to another brand and make sure you read the ingredients on the label thoroughly. Luckily, come March, we will be seeing a lot less of these polyethylene beads.

Want to get your teeth checked today? Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists in Little Rock or Maumelle. If you’re a new patient, you can get a free teeth whitening. Just click the button below to get started!