Shopping for Safe Toothpastes and Tooth Powders

by The Doctors' Prescription for Healthy Living

Most mainstream toothpastes contain two to three different ingredients or additives that potentially increase cancer risk. These include saccharin, FD&C Blue #1, and fluoride.

Saccharin is clearly carcinogenic in experimental studies - with some suggestive human evidence. FD&C Blue #1 has caused small increases in tumors and experimental studies. Although fluoride may have some benefits in prevention of tooth decay, it is also thought to cause a rare form of bone cancer in experimental studies, according to the federal National Toxicology Program.

These are clearly unnecessary risks; many experts believe that children can grow up with healthy teeth while not using any of these chemicals, including fluoride.

Fortunately, safe and healthy brands of toothpastes and powders are available at health food stores. Use the Safe Shopping Chart (below) to determine whether your brand contains any of these suspect ingredients or additives and, if necessary, to find a safe alternative.

TOOTHPASTES AND POWDERS

+ : Contains either one or all of potentially hazardous ingredients.
Brand of Toothpaste or Powder Contains Fluoride, Saccharin or FD&C Blue #1

o : Contains no suspect ingredients

Arm & Hammer (all)
+

Nature's Gate (all)
o

Auromere
o

Peelu
o

Bioforce
o

Pepsodent
+

Colgate
+

Rainbow Research
o

Crest
+

Rembrant Natural Whitening Toothpaste
o

Dabur
o

Tom's of Maine (nonfluoride)
o

Desert Essence (all)
o

Ultra Brite
o

Enzymatic Therapy
o

Viadent
+

Logona (all)
o

Vicco
o

Mer-Flu-An (all)
o

Weleda (all)
o

Metadent
+

Xylifresh
o

Natural Dentist
o

References

Federal Register, September 18, 1982; 47(188): 42563-42566.

International Agency Research for Cancer. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenesis: An Updating of IARC Monographs, vols. 1-42 supplement no. 7. Lyon, France: World Health Organization, 1987: 334-339.

National Toxicology Program, Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Sodium Fluoride (CAS No. 7681-49-4) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Drinking Water Studies). Research Triangle Park, NC: NIH Publication no. 91-2848, December 1990