Dentists raise concerns over trendy natural toothpastes promoted by social influencers

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Dentists have raised concerns over the safety of trendy natural toothpastes, which are gaining traction online due to social media influencers.

Dentists have warned that natural toothpaste recipes, which are currently receiving thousands of hits online via social media accounts and posts, can be harmful for the teeth.

A study of 84 homemade toothpaste mixtures revealed that most are likely to do more harm than good when used as an oral cleaning product. Ingredients that feature heavily in the recipes include charcoal, turmeric and clay, as well as lemon juice. These ingredients can be toxic and abrasive and some, including lemon juice, can also cause enamel erosion due to their low pH value. None of the natural recipes analysed by researchers contained fluoride, a mineral, which is proven to strengthen the enamel and lower the risk of decay.

A research team from the University of Nantes found that many of the ingredients used in the 84 recipes they found online presented a health risk. They also voiced concerns about the quantities and measurements used in the recipes. Commercial toothpaste products are manufactured according to stringent guidelines, which dictate precise measurements. The natural recipes splashed across social platforms used vague instructions, including using a teaspoon or tablespoon to measure ingredients.

Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser at the British Dental Association, suggested that homemade toothpastes should “carry a warning.” This new study underlines the potential risks of making your own toothpaste and the public should be aware of the dangers for both oral and general health. The advice from dentists is to buy approved, regulated products that are proven to be both safe and effective.

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