ADA issues statement on polyethylene microbeads...
September 21, 2014
Those little blue microbeads in your Crest toothpaste may be getting stuck in your teeth and gums, prompting dentists to ask toothpaste manufacturers for a change.
The tiny scrubbers contain the ingredient polyethylene, a form of plastic that does not degrade and can stay embedded in your mouth. “Your body will see them as a foreign body, bacteria will clamp to them and it has the potential to cause gum disease, some form of gingivitis or harm to it,” Dr. Wade Pilling of Meridien, Indiana told KTVB.
When dentists throughout the country started noticing the blue beads a few years ago, they figured out where the objects were coming from— toothpaste such as Crest 3D Whitening and Crest Pro-Health. According to the American Dental Association, the polyethylene microbeads are an FDA-approved food additive. The council will continue to monitor and evaluate new scientific information that comes from this issue. Procter & Gamble, makers of Crest, said the ingredient is completely safe and approved by the FDA. Crest has now said the majority of its toothpaste will be microbead-free in six months and completely gone by 2016.
- Microbeads have been in the news lately. You may have heard about it in connection
- Microbeads are most often used as scrubbing beads in exfoliating skin care products.
- The FDA has approved microbeads as a food additive, and small quantities, which
appear as colored specks, are in some of Crest's toothpastes, including Crest Pro
- Health, which has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
- According to the ADA, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the
- ADA Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain microbeads.
- Products with the ADA Seal have been independently evaluated for safety and
effectiveness by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
- While there is no clinical evidence that microbeads in toothpaste are harmful to your
dental health, Crest is voluntarily withdrawing the ingredient from toothpaste in
response to growing consumer preference.
- As your dentist, my goal is to help you achieve optimal dental oral health. Whenever
you have questions about any dental care product, feel free to talk with me.
- Brushing two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily are
important ways to take care of your dental health.