Harmful titanium dioxide: 17 toothpastes received a solid six in the “Eco-Test”.

Esome love it, others hate it, as a kid you sometimes cheated on it, but in the end it’s part of every morning and evening routine: brushing your teeth. Successful brushing depends a lot on proper technique (for now, suffice it to think of that one visit from the hated high school dentist that forced you to practice top-down brushing on an oversized plastic set of teeth). But the right tool is also important. While more and more sophisticated models appear on the market, especially electric toothbrushes (like various household appliances, brushes are also getting “smarter”), when it comes to toothpaste on drugstore shelves, people often still use traditional types. However, the results of the recently published “Eco Test” show that not all of these creams are equally good.

According to a consumer magazine, a good toothpaste should “protect against cavities and be free of controversial substances.” Eco-Test tested 48 universal toothpastes under a microscope in the laboratory, 17 of them with certification of natural cosmetics. In addition to price and the proportion of recycled plastic in the tubes, test factors included fluoride content and questionable ingredients. As a result, only 13 toothpastes were able to meet the stated requirements, nine of them with the highest rating of “very good”. On the other hand, a total of 17 creams scored six.

Too little fluoride, too much titanium dioxide

There are two main problems with “failures”. Fluoride-containing toothpastes can provide effective protection against cavities. At least 1000 milligrams must be transferred per kilogram, the effect is scientifically proven. In addition to preventing caries, fluoride can also help remineralize teeth and, by forming a kind of protective film, protect tooth enamel from acid attack. But in a total of eight toothpastes, seven of which are certified natural cosmetics, it is completely absent. However, in many cases, the heavy metal lead was found here, which in such quantities can be neurotoxic.

Harmful white pigment: Öko-Test researchers found banned titanium dioxide in 21 out of 48 toothpastes.

In addition, the controversial dye titanium dioxide was found in 21 creams tested. In early 2022, this was banned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as it cannot be ruled out that the white pigment could be genetically harmful and carcinogenic. However, many of the affected producers have told Eco-Test that they would like to change the recipe soon.

In addition, many toothpastes are criticized for containing sodium lauryl sulfate for better foaming. It is an aggressive surfactant that irritates mucous membranes. In addition, PEG/PEG derivatives have been found in some products that make mucous membranes more permeable to foreign substances.

Toothpaste winners and losers

In general, toothpastes with a natural cosmetics certification performed better than toothpastes without such a seal. According to test results, Alverde 5 in 1 Nanaminze Toothpaste, Dontodent Herbal Toothpaste, Dentalux 3X Fresh Protection Gel can continue to be used on a toothbrush whether it is WLAN enabled or just made of wood. The well-known Elmex caries protection toothpaste was also among the test winners with a “good” rating. All of them contain a sufficient amount of fluorine, but not the banned titanium dioxide. And six of them are also pretty cheap at 0.39 cents.

Now for the losers of the test: among them are all sorts of famous names, including three varieties from the Colgate brand. Blend-A-Med Complete Protect Expert Deep Cleansing and Blend-A-Med All-Round Protection Classic, as well as the herbs Dentagard and Odol-Med 3 Original, also received six points from the Öko-Test due to questionable ingredients. In the case of products certified based on natural cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka Med Minze Forte toothpaste and Dentural Natural Toothpaste were rated “poor” for lack of fluoride. Last but not least, this also applies to the protection of the Aronal gum, which the author herself stands by the washbasin in the bathroom – and will now remove as soon as possible.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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