Friday, February 10, 2012

During Kids' Dental Care Month: Get Their Check –Ups and Read Toothpaste Ingredients

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so if your kids are due for a check-up, make an appointment. Keeping up with their dental health needs is very important, to avoid bigger issues down the road, and larger health issues that stem from poor hygiene and decay.

If your child has not seen the dentist due to income or money, then you may check with your child’s school to see if your child/children qualify for local dental programs. In addition, American Dental Plan and discount network programs, like ours, make dentistry affordable for parents.

Since this is the month to focus on kids and their oral health, this is an interesting piece of news you may find useful. Dentist and national oral health care expert Harold Katz is warning parents to take a look closer look at the ingredients in some commercial toothpaste brands.

Since toothpaste is a product we use frequently, there is a probability of ingesting it twice a day (if we are brushing twice a day), then take a look at the contents and here are some ingredients to avoid, according to Katz:

FD&C blue dye No. 2: This commonly used toothpaste dye is one of several on the list of additives to avoid, maintained by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It's said to be linked to allergic and behavioral reactions and headaches.

Sodium lauryl sulfate: The American College of Toxicology reports this ingredient in cosmetics and industrial cleaning agents can cause skin corrosion and irritation.

Triclosan: An anti-microbial ingredient, the federal Environmental Protection Agency lists triclosan as a pesticide and regulates its use in over-the-counter toothpastes and hand soaps.

It may be beneficial to look for more natural ingredients, such as: aloe vera juice, which cleans and soothes teeth and gums and helps fight cavities and kill disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, Katz advised.