My daughter hasn’t brushed her teeth in two days. That’s because we ran out of the natural kids toothpaste, and so did our local supermarket. The convenient little shelf that featured all my favorite eco-friendly kids toothpaste brands is gone, and none of them are integrated anywhere else. Sure, I can make a special trip to Whole Foods. But for kids toothpaste? I might as well just grin and bear it—pun intended—and buy a tube of the conventional kind. Right? Wrong. Because as I found out, conventional kids toothpaste can be toxic.
Especially for those kids who consider it a condiment, there shouldn’t be toxic chemicals in their toothpaste! At the store, the two labels that I looked at—from major “safe” children’s manufacturers of kids toothpastes—contained propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and FD&C Blue 1, a carcinogen derived from coal tar. Then there’s the one brand that still loads their toothpaste with triclosan.
Finding these toxic chemical ingredients in kids toothpaste is frightening. But when you take into account the fact that children often consider toothpaste a condiment, it takes it to a whole new level.
The propylene glycol is what scares me the most. It’s associated with elevated risks of cancer, as well as developmental, reproductive and organ toxicity. According to the Environmental Working Group, even concentrations as low as two percent have led to skin irritations, among other problems.
Luckily, with one-click shipping, I can get truly natural kids toothpaste—like
my daughter’s favorite Tom’s Of Maine Silly Strawberry Kids Toothpaste or fluoride-free Jack N’ Jill Natural Kids Toothpaste—by tomorrow.
And her whites will be pearly again.
Photo: Modern Mom