Crest toothpaste has made the news recently because of their decision to remove plastic micro-beads from their toothpaste, and as your Greensboro dentist, we’d like to weigh in. While the FDA certified that the blue polyethylene micro-beads are a safe food additive, the plastic beads are not healthy for your teeth. We’ve been seeing these small, blue plastic specks during dental check-ups and have been informing out patients that the little micro-beads do more much more harm than good. The plastic micro-beads get jammed in and stuck between your teeth and gums. They are pushed even further down by the bristles of your brush, making them hard to dislodge. Once there, the plastic doesn’t wash away or dissolve. Instead it collects bacteria which causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Crest has stated that they will stop using micro-beads in some of their toothpastes in six months, and will fully phase out all micro-beads by 2016. However, your teeth can’t wait that long. As an alternative, we recommend you stop using any toothpaste with visible blue micro-beads immediately. We generally recommend Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste to our patients. If you’re teeth are prone to cavities, we also carry CariFree right here in the office. Whether or not you prefer to try those our recommended toothpastes, we do strongly urge you not to use toothpaste with these blue micro-beads.