Those little blue dots

 

Those little blue dots

Over the past few weeks, there has been talk among dental professionals and concerned consumers about certain ingredients found in some brands of toothpaste. Most commonly the Crest 3D White and Crest Complete are mentioned. The ingredient that has been the highlight of conversation is the ‘blue dots’ that sometimes remain on the gum tissue.  These very small ‘dots’ are visible to the naked eye but sometimes hard to notice if there is just one, but here in the dental world,  we use magnification to better see in the  mouth.  We have been noticing these dots in patients’ mouths and will show them to patients. The reaction is usually surprise followed by what brand they have been using.  So more and more we have been keeping track of these little blue guys and I decided to look a little further into it. There are plenty of dental forums and discussions on the internet about these ‘blue dots’ and the growing concern of their safety for use and their purpose.  I called Crest myself to get an inside scoop, and this is what they had to say (the representative was very informative and helpful). The ‘blue dots’ are actually ‘Polyethylene specks’ (commonly known as plastic). They are an FDA approved food additive that is also found in gums and exfoliating products. There is no evidence in clinical studies that shows that they are harmful and they are not meant to go under the gum tissue. Crest is aware that there are some concerns about these (now plastic) dots and they are in the process of finding a qualified alternative to replace them.  Now, you can use this information to make a better informed decision on the products that you are using if this is something you’re concerned about. Some folks love their toothpaste and don’t want to change, and some are weary of these dots. If you’re wondering what else these dots are in, I also found an article about how upstate NY is pressing for a ban on certain facial cleansers that contain these same plastic particles as an exfoliator (Crest did mention this!) because there are concerns about the dots being found in the lakes and water supplies and causing harm to marine life.  I will leave you with this new knowledge and hopefully you will find it useful in making a decision about what products you choose to use for you and your family.  – Amanda