One of the more controversial ingredients that are commonly found in toothpaste is SLS. This ingredient is used in many industrial cleaners such as engine degreasers, various floor cleaners and car wash soap. It is also used in shampoos, shaving creams and some other personal care products.

Many studies are determining that it is better for your health and the health of your teeth and gums to opt for toothpaste without SLS.

SLS Used to Irritate the Skin

SLS is used by many cosmetic companies to cause skin irritants so they can test the healing benefits of other products. Because of the skin irritants that it causes, if you notice that you’re getting canker sores, dermatitis or other irritated tissues, SLS could be the culprit.

SLS is used to kill plants and insects which make it a very questionable ingredient to have in your toothpaste. In fact, the creators of SLS have recently petitioned to have it listed as a viable organic pesticide. This petition was denied due to the environmental damage it causes and the polluting properties it contains. In addition studies have further shown that SLS has the ability to get into the heart, liver, brain and eyes and can cause cataracts in adults. It is further linked to the improper formation of children’s eyes.

Problems Associated with SLS in Toothpaste

The amount of SLS in toothpastes, have been shown to decrease the amount of fluoride that is deposited on the tooth enamel.

Why is this bad?

Topical fluoride delivery is one of the main purposes of toothpaste. If SLS decreases the amount of soluble fluoride that the teeth are exposed to, then it defeats one of the main benefits you get when you brush your teeth.

Another problem that has been linked to SLS is the increase of ulcers and sores in the mouth.

If you’ve ever used a strong toothpaste, maybe a whitening one for example, and noticed that you’re getting a lot of mouth sores, look in the ingredients list and see if SLS is listed as an ingredient.

It very well could be what is causing them.

Products That Contain SLS

Products with SLS
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Soaps
  • Dish soap
  • Children’s shampoos
  • Detergents
  • Stain remover
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Mouthwash
  • Skin cleanser
  • Mascara

You may be surprised to know just how many of your personal care products contain this questionable ingredient. The reason it tends to be so popular is, in part, due to the foaming action the SLS gives the products it is used in.

This list is not exhaustive but it shows that many of the products you use everyday contain this extremely debated ingredient.

Are there alternatives?

Absolutely, and although they may cost a little more, they reduce the irritants that you can have arise that you may not have even been aware of SLS being a suspect in such as dandruff, sores, skin irritations and extremely sensitive and sore gums and teeth.

Alternatives to Toothpastes That Contain SLS

If you want some healthy alternatives to chemical filled toothpastes, you can find them here.

There are many commercial types of toothpaste without SLS, but even if it lists that on the label, be sure to read all of the ingredients.

Brushing with sea salt or baking soda are two popular options for using commercial chemical filled toothpastes. Just dip your brush into the powder and brush like normal.

The main complaint that people have when using these two alternatives is that their mouths don’t feel clean and minty.

This can be altered by using Stevia and peppermint essential oil added to the baking soda. This should give you that minty feel that you’ve come to recognize and associate with having “clean” teeth.

There are many commercial brands of toothpastes without SLS and it’s not hard to find them. A lot of the natural toothpastes advertise that they are SLS free, so just be sure that when you are shopping for the right kind, you read the label carefully. Don’t just take the words on the box or the word “natural” as enough proof.

More than likely, you will notice a big difference in how your mouth feels and if you’ve been dealing with sores and sensitive painful gums, you will have a decrease in those issues once you eliminate the SLS from your daily tooth brushing routine.

It is more than worth the extra time it takes to find the right, healthy toothpaste that will give you pretty, clean teeth without having to expose you to potentially dangerous chemicals such as SLS that are also used in things you would never think of using to brush your teeth with such as cleaners and pesticides.

Make good choices now and you will notice the difference!

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