Columbia general dentistThe next time you brush your teeth, take a closer look at your toothpaste. Is there something there that doesn’t really belong? In the last few decades, microbeads have taken hold of countless personal hygiene products. They look nice and help break up the monotony of a toothpaste, and provide extra exfoliation for face and body washes – so what’s the big problem?

Unfortunately, microbeads’ effects aren’t all pleasant ones. They can have a negative impact on your teeth, and an even worse one on our environment. Learn why they’re to be avoided, and how you can make sure your products don’t contain this problematic plastic.

How Microbeads Harm Teeth

These beads are quite small, and therefore quite hard to remove from places they don’t belong. Why do they need to be removed? Because they don’t biodegrade (and they’re actually filling up our oceans and lakes). If a bead gets stuck between your teeth and gums, it’s staying there until a professional steps in. Dental hygienists have blogged about finding beads stuck at patients’ gum lines, where they can irritate soft tissues and lead to inflammation. Microbeads also cause unnecessary erosion for your enamel, leading to the outer layer of teeth wearing away.

Are There Microbeads in My Toothpaste?

The biggest dental offender is Crest, who has included microbeads in many of their whitening toothpastes. However, Crest has listened to consumers’ and environmentalists’ concerns and pledged to phase out microbeads, which will be completed by March of 2016. In the meantime, look for “polyethylene” in your toothpaste’s ingredients to be sure it’s clear of these troublemakers. After all, the last thing you want is a dental emergency caused by something too small to even be noticed.

Have questions about your dental products? Get in touch to learn which products would be best for your unique teeth.

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