So there’s not actually an old camping cup ground up in your commercially available toothpaste, but would you believe there is tin in many fancy fluoride toothpastes? Rather than reading labels and wondering what all those chemicals are and do, maybe it’s time to put aside the harmful chemicals in leading toothpastes and make your own or choose a somewhat-safe natural brand.
But what’s this about tin?
Some fluoride toothpastes contain stannous fluoride, an ingredient that includes tin in its makeup. If you insist on using fluoride, you don’t have to use a kind with metal in it. For example, you can use a toothpaste that contains sodium monofluorophosphate, a less toxic alternative. There are still concerns about whether fluoride causes reproductive and other effects, but there’s no reason to brush metal onto your teeth.
For that matter, there’s no reason to use a toothpaste that contains the pesticides SLS or triclosan either, but people use them every day. In fact, these ingredients are in most commercial toothpastes that you might find at a grocery store, drugstore or one of those big-box discount stores.
And why not concern yourself with artificial sweeteners and chemical dyes too? Does it matter what color your toothpaste is? And do you really want a potentially harmful chemical like saccharin in your toothpaste? Someone came up with the idea a long time ago that people might prefer to use a sweetened toothpaste -- and since using sugar is out of the question and would cause tooth decay, attention turned to this once-popular artificial sweetener. Most people stopped using it in food years ago, but somehow it remains in most toothpastes.
Go ahead and try to find a commercially available toothpaste without SLS, triclosan or saccharin. You’ll see that there are harmful chemicals in toothpaste choices of all brands. So why not put them aside and either choose a safer natural brand or simply make your own toothpaste? It seems like a more sensible idea than rubbing chemicals onto your teeth.
Dr. Daniel Vinograd, DDS