Harmful Toothpaste Ingredients to Look Out For

Oral care products come with a wide range of toothpaste ingredients, but some of these ingredients can be harmful to your teeth and to your overall health.

Here are some harmful ingredients in toothpaste to look out for:

Baking Soda

Many people are turning towards alternative toothpaste made from Ďnatural ingredientsí. One of the main ingredients used in these pastes in baking soda.

Although it can be used as a cheap whitener, baking soda is actually not as effective as other whitening products. It can be incredibly abrasive to your teeth and is not an effective deterrent against plaque. For this reason, baking soda is not an adequate replacement for fluoride toothpaste. Baking soda can also wear away at dental glue, so it should especially be avoided by braces wearers.

Related: 51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda

Hydrated Silica

Like baking soda, hydrated silica is an abrasive used as a whitener. It is usually included in toothpastes that are advertised as heavy duty.

Though this can be okay to use occasionally, the repeated use of hydrated silica can be harmful to your teeth as it wears away at your enamel and causes your teeth to be more susceptible to plaque and overall damage.

Artificial Sweeteners and Colors

Thereís a lot of ambiguity surrounding the long-term impact of artificial sweeteners, which isnít great to hear considering how common it is for toothpastes to use sweeteners like Aspartame. Manufactures include sweeteners to give toothpaste a more pleasurable taste without the use of sugar.

The use of artificial sweeteners confuses your body and makes it want to consume more food. Aspartame is one of the more common sweeteners used in toothpaste, but it is a potential neurotoxin, and heavy exposure could lead to depression, dizziness, and visual impairment. When broken down, the chemicals that make it are actually known to be carcinogenic.

Though youíre not directly consuming toothpaste, itís inevitable that you swallow portions of it, and small amounts are absorbed into your bloodstream. This is why it may be in your best interest to find toothpaste without artificial sweeteners.

Related: How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Gut Health


Triclosan is a common ingredient in toothpaste. Itís an antibacterial agent that is used to fight gingivitis and plaque, but thereís a chance it contributes to antibiotic resistance. Triclosan is actually banned from soaps and body washes by the American Food and Drug Administration for this reason.

Itís still allowed in toothpaste as it has proven benefits, but it could potentially cause more harm than good. Tests have also shown the results of Triclosan altering the hormonal makeup of animals, which means it could have some serious effects on humans. It has also been linked to the growth of cancer cells in different areas.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Toothpaste often contains foaming agents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. These agents make it easier for toothpaste to be spread amongst your teeth, similar to the way foaming agents in shampoo help you massage it into your scalp. The problem is that they alter your taste buds, which is actually thought to be why food tastes bitter after you brush.

Thereís also some evidence that these agents cause canker sores or ulcers in your mouth. So if youíre struggling with canker sores, you may want to look at changing your toothpaste to see if this makes a difference. SLS is a known pesticide and can be carcinogenic with long-term exposure.

There are many chemicals used in toothpaste, and itís up to you to choose a paste that contains ingredients youíre comfortable consuming. The toothpaste ingredients to avoid are really up to you, and if youíre really concerned, it may be best to do further research and consult a dentist when making decisions about toothpaste that isnít harmful to your teeth, or your health.

Based in Tauranga, New Zealand, Corson Dental is a modern dental practice specializing in cosmetic and general procedures. Visit corsondental.co.nz for more details.

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Marie W
Marie W7 months ago


Lesa D
Lesa D10 months ago


natasha p
Past Member 10 months ago

hate chemicals.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago


Ann B
Ann Babout a year ago


John W
John Wabout a year ago

Good to know

Paola S
Past Member about a year ago

Thank you

Aaron F
Past Member about a year ago

The picture reminded me to remind you...never use any human toothpaste in your pet's mouth ...no matter how bad their breath is. Ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate can make them violently nauseated.
Buy specially formulated pet dentifrice from your veterinarian or pet store.

Kathryn I
Kathryn Iabout a year ago

Back in the day, I always heard that baking soda was the cure-all for the whiteness and good health of teeth, so I found that item to be surprisingly informative! Thanks for sharing.

Dennis Hall
Dennis Hallabout a year ago