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So Many Chemicals – A guide on what to avoid in your child's oral health products

By Jill Feilmeier on May 15, 2012 in Kid's Health

Little boy smiling

As more hidden preservatives and additives in food are being brought to the public's attention, Delta Dental of Iowa decided to shed some light on the fact that additives now can be found are not just in your frozen or processed food, but also in your oral health products.

Many additives are harmless to adults but when choosing products for your children, you should pay close attention to the ingredients. Certain ingredients could be perfectly safe for adults but may pose more of a risk to a growing child. As a parents, you always want the best for your child so watch out for the following ingredients when choosing your child's dental care products:

  1. Avoid buying products with alcohol, including mouthwash & toothpaste, that have alcohol as an ingredient. There are many reasons why products containing alcohol should be avoided however in small children, the main risk is swallowing. Most children at this age need direction on how to rinse their mouths out properly. If you don't watch your child carefully, he could swallow a dangerous amount. It is much safer to just go alcohol-free.
  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an additive commonly found in products that we expect to “foam up.”. It is used in many toothpastes as well as non non-oral health products such as shampoo and hand soap. There are absolutely zero oral health benefits to this additive and there are reports that it can actually increase a child's risk of developing canker sores if exposed to SLS regularly.(1)
  3. Saccharin is the ingredient used to “sweeten” the deal for children. You've seen all those cupcake flavored toothpastes, haven't you? Saccharin is the reason for the sweet taste. It is not harmful, but it can increase your child's affinity for sweets which indirectly can cause negative oral health effects.

As adults we often forget children's bodies can react differently to certain substances. If you are concerned about the oral health products your child uses, ask your dentist. Dentists can give you good advice about the best types of oral health products.

1. “The Importance of Buying Child Friendly Oral Health Products.” Dental Health Magazine. Web. 03 May 2012. .