Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crest to Remove Microbeads from Toothpaste

Here's an interesting story from the world of dentistry and one of the industry's favorite products, toothpaste.

For consumers, the name "Crest" has got to be either the most recognized or the second most recognized toothpaste brand on the US market.  The brand has been around for longer than we've been alive and has always carried a very high degree of consumer confidence.

Recently it seems that the toothpaste industry has had a couple of less than stellar news items.  The first was concerns over the chemical "Triclosan" that has been in Colgate products for a while.  This issue does not affect Crest users at all.  If you would like more info, you can read about it on the Crest website.

The second item that hit the news does deal with Crest.  While it doesn't deal with any type of active chemical ingredient, it does deal with a component of some products.

It seems that Crest places small polyethylene microbeads in some of their toothpastes.  These beads, which are considered as a food additive by the FDA, are used to help scrub the teeth clean while you brush.  There is no concern about the chemical polyethylene, the concern from dentists has to do with the fact that the beads have the potential to become lodged somewhere between the tooth and gum which might create a foreign body reaction.

This potential exists because the microbeads will not dissolve in the mouth.  Thus, while I've never heard of a foreign body reaction due to these, the potential does exist.

Once Crest heard of the concern from dentists, they announced they will remove them from the products in which they are found.  The company anticipates all supplies will be polyethylene free by 2016.

For a nice overview written for patients, take a look at this article from

For a look at this issue for dental professionals, my writing home Dental Products Report has a nice article dealing with it.

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