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Microbeads Being Removed from Crest Toothpaste
- Updated: September 18, 2014
Consumers were thrilled when Crest came out with toothpaste containing little blue microbeads that work as tiny scrubbers to get teeth sparkling clean. However, dentists around the country are asking for manufacturers of toothpaste products that contain microbeads to make a change.
The problem is that these small beads become stuck in teeth and gums. Being made from polyethylene, a non-degradable type of plastic, they can remain embedded and cause problems. According to Dr. Wade Pilling of Indiana, the body typically sees the flecks of plastic as foreign bodies. As a result, bacteria attaches, which in turn can promote gingivitis and certain forms of gum disease.
Dentists all over the country began noticing the small blue beads and eventually, figured out that the tiny pieces of plastic were coming from certain brands of toothpaste to include Crest Pro-Health and Crest 3D Whitening. The polyethylene microbeads do have FDA approval as a food additive but as stated by the American Dental Association, new scientific information linked to this issue will be monitored evaluated.
Although a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, makers of Crest products, saids the microbeads are made from a safe ingredient approved by the FDA, because of growing concern among dentists, most of Crest toothpastes will be microbead-free within the next six months and completely void of this ingredient by 2016.
One dental hygienist says she has seen many things in her career but until just a few years ago, nothing like the damage caused by the controversial ingredient polyethylene. People in the field of dentistry thought the microbeads were a cleaning product or something stuck in between gums and teeth from chewing.
After years, experts finally recognized the small blue beads as being polyethylene found in toothpaste. This ingredient is used to make all types of things to include bullet proof vests, plastic grocery bags, garbage containers, and knee replacements. Obviously, this is not the kind of thing that consumers should find in toothpaste.
Of all toothpaste brands, microbeads are found more often in Crest products. In addition to causing gingivitis, the trapped bacteria can lead to very serious infections capable of affecting bone. If the infection turns into periodontal disease, an individual has a real problem according to Dr. Philip.
In a recent statement released by Procter & Gamble, a company spokesperson said that while the ingredient in question is completely safe and approved for use in foods by the FDA, the company understands there is a growing preference for the ingredient to be removed from toothpaste products and as such, they will comply.