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Plastic in Your Toothpaste? Understanding Microbeads with Dr. Kirk in OKC

September 22, 2014

469667769Have you ever noticed the tiny blue, green, or red particles in your toothpaste? Many toothpaste brands on the market today include these little colored dots, but what are they and what function do they serve? At Grand Dental Studio in Oklahoma City, OK, Dr. Michael K. Kirk and his team emphasize the importance of patient education in all aspects of oral health, and today we’d like to cover the recently popular subject of microbeads in toothpaste.

What are Microbeads in Toothpaste?

Microbeads are tiny spheres of a colored plastic called polyethylene. They are added to many toothpaste brands for aesthetic reasons, and they do not offer any oral health benefit. Crest, a widely loved toothpaste brand, has recently decided to remove microbeads from their toothpastes after complaints from dentists from across the country. Some states have already made moves to ban microbeads from other products, including body wash, facial cleansers, and shampoos. Environmental concerns have also surfaced as microbeads have been found in soil and in multiple bodies of fresh water.

Are Microbeads Dangerous?

Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturer of Crest toothpaste, states that microbeads are completely safe, but many dentists still disagree. The tiny plastic beads have been found embedded in their patients’ gums, a problem that can potentially lead to irritation and inflammation of the gingival pockets. This can serve as the ideal breeding environment for the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease.

At Grand Dental Studio, our doctor recommends that patients who are concerned about microbeads simply switch to regular, white toothpaste without the colorful additives. Choose a toothpaste that bears the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance to ensure that the product has been properly tested and proven effective. As always, if you have any questions regarding your home hygiene routine, Dr. Kirk and his team are happy to help.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment, and discover the difference that our commitment to patient satisfaction can make in your next dental experience. Our Oklahoma City, OK office proudly serves patients from throughout the surrounding areas as well, including Nichols Hills, Moore, Midwest City, Edmond, Deer Creek, Yukon, and the greater OKC area. 

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