Last month I visited my dentist for a regular cleaning and checkup. I don’t dread the visits; it’s just another thing to do and another expense. But it keeps my mouth healthy and monitored. There was a substitute hygienist that day, who was very informative.
“Do you use Crest 3-D White toothpaste?” she asked (note that she removed her hands from my mouth before asking, so bonus points for that). Why, yes, I do. How did you know?
“See this little blue speck here?” she said. “That’s from the toothpaste. It’s a piece of plastic. It was under your gum.” WHAAAT!?
Apparently, hygienists across the country started to notice the plastic specks under the gums of patients. Patients started reporting cases of inflammation and numbness. Hygienists spoke out, and it was discovered and widely reported that Crest 3-D White toothpaste (the gel kind), and other Procter & Gamble products, contain little specks of polyethylene! Yup, the stuff your detergent bottles are made of.
Seriously? “For product appearance.” That makes it okay?
Now it’s being reported that P&G says it’s going to phase out the plastic. By 2016 — let’s not jump on consumer safety too quickly, huh? (I haven’t found a press release to that effect, however.) Thank your hygienist next time you’re in for a cleaning.
I’d been using 3-D White since it came out, and with the brightening results I got, I figured it was worth the premium price (on sale with coupon, of course). I’m a coffee and tea drinker, and my teeth stain; the product did an excellent job for me. The sub hygienist said the 3-D White gave me “great color,” which is what I was going for. But I did notice several times in the past few years that my gums would inflame for no apparent reason. Now I know why.
Hey, my mouth is part of my body, not an inanimate object independent of biological function within a larger organism! (It’s your lucky day — today is $2 word day.) With this new information from the sub hygienist, I went home and tossed out the two half-used tubes of 3-D White in our home. I replaced them with other Crest products from the cupboard, which do not have little beads in them. Time will tell, of course, if the alternative product provides brightening to my satisfaction.
Even if you have coupons and there’s a blowout clearance sale on these products, I’d advise you to think 3 times before buying or using.
And Shakira, dah-ling, you might want to think, too!