Toothpaste Ingredients Dangerous to Your Health

Dr. Reza Written by Dr. Reza Khazaie

Toothpaste Ingredients Dangerous to Your Health

For all of us, oral hygiene forms a necessary part of our daily routine. It’s a vital part of warding off gum disease and maintaining good oral health.

Healthy teeth keep us confident and smiling. Our happiness depends on our ability to interact, and first impressions count – a lot. Greeting someone with a smile is one of the best first impressions we can make.

Staying on top of looking after your teeth means understanding the active ingredients different kinds of toothpaste contain. It’s essential to know that when you brush your teeth, there are no harmful ingredients.

All of us have different priorities when it comes to dental health. Some of us look for whitening toothpaste, while some of us prefer specific toothpaste brands. If you have tooth sensitivity, you may prefer something kinder to your tooth enamel.

In any case, we all have one goal in common: to take care of our teeth and prevent tooth decay. Toothpaste which removes plaque, does a great job of protecting our teeth. It’s important to look after teeth consistently, from when we’re young children. This makes it all the more necessary to ask ourselves the following question.

Is toothpaste healthy?

Are any toothpaste ingredients dangerous to your health?

The world of toothpaste can seem a little confusing. There are many ingredients in toothpaste, and it’s hard to know what to look for.

So, if you’d like to learn if the sodium fluoride from your stannous fluoride, an antimicrobial ingredient that inhibits plaque bacteria buildup in the mouth, is good, bad, or ugly – stick around!

When was toothpaste invented?

Is toothpaste healthy? - Dr. Reza Khazaie - Dentist Concord, CA

As generations have passed by and innovation and technology have evolved rapidly, we can trace the history of toothpaste going as far back as early as 3 AD.

The Egyptians concocted a toothpaste that consisted of spring flowers, mint, pepper, and finely crushed rock salt.

Other civilizations such as the Greeks and Roman societies used crushed bone and oyster shells, while the Chinese incorporated herbal mints, leaves, and ginseng.

It didn’t end there!

Ancient human civilizations used charcoal, chalk, ox hooves, eggshells, ashes, minerals, tree bark, insects, and more.

Thankfully, in recent centuries, toothpaste has continued to evolve.

  • 1780 – History shows some people used burnt breadcrumbs for toothpaste.
  • 1824 – Dr. Peabody, a dentist, concocted a toothpaste using abrasive ingredients and a mixture of soap. His toothpaste evolved, replacing the soap with sodium lauryl sulfate for a better brand texture. This was considered the turning point in toothpaste, where past-like texture tooth powders evolved.
  • 1860s – Chalk is introduced as a viable oral hygiene routine.
  • 1873 – A smooth fresh-scented toothpaste is introduced by Colgate, who sold the paste in small glass jars.
  • 1892 – Dr. Washington Sheffield invented the first collapsible toothpaste tube.
  • 1915 – Fluoride is presented as a benefit to oral hygiene and added to toothpaste.
  • 1988 – NASA presents “Space Toothpaste,” edible toothpaste for its astronauts to brush their teeth in space without spitting. A technology still used today by children who are learning how to brush.
  • 1989 – Rembrandt became the first “whitening” toothpaste sold on the market.
  • 1993 – Rembrandt again makes history offering Canker Sore Toothpaste to benefit “canker sore” sufferers. As it evolved, in 2008, its name changed to Rembrandt’s Gently White. About 20 percent of the population suffers from canker sores, making eating, swallowing, or talking painful.
  • 2020 – Biomimetic Fluoride Toothpaste is invented primarily for kids ages 3 to 6 to help strengthen children’s teeth. BioMin’s “smart technology” controls the release of fluoride for up to 12 hours after brushing.
  • 2021 – Colgate invents a high-tech nonstick toothpaste tube that helps you squeeze out every drop of toothpaste.

1. Fluoride

Fluoride Treatments - Concord Dentist

There are several types of fluoride, such as sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride.

Fluoride is known to reduce cavities significantly. Stannous fluoride may even help some people with sensitive teeth.

Fluoride is in many brands and types of toothpaste. The US, UK, and Australia add fluoride to the public water supply as well, in tiny amounts.

There appears to be no link between small amounts of fluoride and disease in humans.

Most people feel that the beneficial properties of fluoride make it a very effective toothpaste ingredient.

2. Abrasives

Toothpaste abrasives

Sometimes we might add granules to soaps that aid in cleaning filthy hands; toothpaste can contain abrasive agents. More substantial staining on the tooth surface needs an extra boost to remove it.

Some toothpaste manufacturers add calcium carbonate or modified silicas to aid the tooth-cleaning process. These additions can help markedly with getting rid of more stubborn surface stains. The levels of abrasives in toothpaste are neither harmful nor bad for enamel.

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3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – a.k.a. SLS

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate, also known as SLS, is an ingredient in most toothpaste. The substance is a mild form of detergent, but its main reason for being in toothpaste is that it foams.

When your toothpaste foams, it gets into nooks and crannies more easily. Getting into more places makes brushing more effective. Sodium lauryl sulfate SLS is used in other types of cleaner too, such as washing powder. Suds make for a better clean, and your teeth are no exception!

A small number of people may display sensitivity to SLS. Discomfort, peeling, and sores can occur when this happens. It’s possible to get non-foaming types of toothpaste, and SLS-sensitive people are advised to do so. In most cases, however, SLS is perfectly safe to use, and a great oral health promoter.

4. Teeth Whiteners and Baking Soda

Crest Po Health Advanced toothpaste

Some toothpaste ingredients are there to make teeth whiter. Most of us like to have gleaming, healthy-looking teeth, and manufacturers provide many whitening brands. Teeth whitening agents in toothpaste may be hydrogen peroxide or sodium hexametaphosphate.

Both of these ingredients are chemicals that lighten the color of teeth. Although they’re chemicals, it’s widely thought that the small amounts in toothpaste aren’t harmful to humans. Polyphosphates can irritate some people, so it’s best to use your own judgment.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural substance that many feel are a great tooth whitener.

Many toothpaste varieties contain baking soda, and it’s perfectly safe to use.

5. Triclosan

Triclosan Dentist Concord

Triclosan is a toothpaste substance you may need to watch out for. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of triclosan in soap, but it’s still legal in toothpaste.

As crazy as that seems, you’re unlikely to come across it. Triclosan was banned in soap several years ago. Where your health is concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry, however. Keep a lookout for triclosan in toothpaste and if you see it – avoid it!

Research linked this substance to several forms of disease in humans. Triclosan is a pesticide which may cause heart disease and cancer.

Keeping Your Teeth and Body Healthy


When you’re looking for the best toothpaste and concentrating on preventing tooth decay keep an eye on the ingredients. When it comes to looking after yourself, it’s always better to own your actions. You’re the best judge of what’s right for you when you’ve done the research.

When selecting a toothpaste, it’s essential to get as much expert guidance as possible. Once you know the facts, you’ll be in a far better position to make a choice. When you’re happy with your toothpaste, you’ll be happier brushing too!

Most commercial and organic toothpaste on the market is safe to use, and will actively help keep your teeth healthy. The benefits of good oral health are many. The power of a smile can be almost immeasurable. Whether you’re looking for the best whitening toothpaste or fully focused on healthy gums, keep brushing is the best policy.