Microbead toothpastes have seen increased controversy and news time in recent years. In the United States, as well as other countries, lawmakers are seeking to have these mircobead containing toothpastes banned for a variety of reasons. You may have noticed that your dentist has suggested avoiding these pastes and other products as well. What you may not know is why. Here are a few things your dentist may want you to know about these pastes, the microbeads they contain, and what to look for as well as avoid.
Microbeads May Harm Enamel
One concern is that long-term use or extensive use of abrasive toothpastes can harm tooth enamel, as suggested in a recent She Knows article. The microbeads in toothpastes are there to help with removal of plague and build-up as a form of abrasive. The issue is that this long-term use, and the plastic nature of the microbeads, could be hurting your enamel by wearing it down and causing tooth sensitivity over time. This type of enamel damage can lead to issues with having to use sensitivity toothpaste or even having enamel treatments from your dentist.
Microbeads and Gum Related Damage
Mircobeads in toothpastes contain or are made of plastics in the form of hard small beads. These beads, during the brushing process, can damage your gums and even become embedded in your gum line. This can leave openings in your gum line that can attract and trap bacteria or cause gum sensitivity. This could be minor and easily treated by switching toothpastes, or it could lead to costly gum treatments to heal the damage caused by the beads. This is something to consider if you already have weak or sensitive gums or gum issues in your past dental history.
Alternatives to Mircobead Toothpastes
One issue that some dental patients have is that the microbeads may be working well to achieve whiter teeth, so they don't want to go off them. They may also be concerned that there are no alternatives. If you fall into this category, your dentist will likely want you to know that there are many alternatives including natural options such as baking soda or teeth whitening options available through in office visits and care plans.
Before you decide to go off of microbead toothpastes, consider discussing your options with your dental professional. They can suggest options that may work with your current oral care routine as well as discuss options to achieve the results you want for safer plaque removal and whitening.