Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Does Crest Toothpaste Contain Plastic?

Published on November 2, 2015 by   ·   No Comments



Back in August of 2013, I wrote an article on my site about microbead pollution (1) and shared some of the various products you can find microbeads in such as nail art, soap, body wash, face scrubs and toothpaste. So I wasn’t too surprised to read an article by Trish Walraven, a Dental Hygienist in Texas regarding this very problem. Trish began noticing many of her patients had blue green specs below their gum line. After speaking with other hygienists and talking with patients a common denominator was revealed…..Crest toothpaste. (2)

If you use Crest toothpaste, you may be surprised to learn that those blue specks are actually pieces of plastic. That’s right polyethylene is clearly listed as a label ingredient. Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic in the world. Used in everything from garbage containers, grocery bags, plastic bottles and containers to bulletproof vests and knee replacements. (3) Polyethylene isn’t biodegradable, it simply breaks down into smaller pieces.

So why is it used? According to Crest, it is used for cosmetic purposes to add color. (4)

What’s the Concern?

Florence, Kentucky dentist Dr. Brian Moore said the microbeads get trapped in your gums, causing more bacteria to enter. He has noticed several patients with blue-green flecks below their gum lines. His concern is that if the flecks remain they could cause gingival irritation. Moore added “Any time you have any foreign body in the pocket around the tooth, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria.” (5)

According to the Wisegeek site “Polyethylene is a type of polymer that is thermoplastic, meaning that it can be melted to a liquid and remolded as it returns to a solid state. It is chemically synthesized from ethylene, a compound that’s usually made from petroleum or natural gas”. Of all the plastics produced for industrial and commercial products, polyethylene is the most common. As an example, 280 million metric tons of it was produced in 2011 alone. (3)

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