Polyethylene (plastic) microbeads in toothpaste

Polyethylene (plastic) microbeads in toothpaste

In recent months there have been reports regarding an additive in many common toothpastes and it’s not fluoride garnering the attention. It’s plastic. Polyethylene to be specific. The very same polyethylene used in containers, packaging and plastic grocery bags.  These plastic microbeads not only do not break down in the mouth, but also won’t even dissolve in acetone, alcohol or anything else for that matter.

As a hygienist at SoundBridge, I see these tiny blue bits of plastic on nearly a daily basis in my own patients’ mouths. I’ve seen them often times resting around the sulcus of teeth. This is an important area to keep clean or gingivitis and periodontal disease can develop.

What could happen if these are ingested over a length of time? The answer is, we don’t know. That’s why a number of states are currently trying to ban it in body scrubs and dental products.

The following common toothpastes contain polyethylene:

Crest 3D White

  • Radiant Mint, Arctic Fresh, Enamel Renewal, Luxe Glamorous White, Luxe Lustrous

Crest Pro-Health

  • For Me, Sensitive + Enamel Shield, Clinical Gum Protection, For Life for ages 50+, Healthy Fresh, Smooth Mint

Crest Sensitivity Treatment and Protection

Crest Complete

  • Multi-Benefit Whitening Plus Deep Clean, Multi-Benefit Extra White + Crystal Clean Anti-Bacteria

Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast

Crest SensiRelief Maximum Strength Whitening Plus Scope

Crest Be Adventurous Mint Chocolate Trek

Crest Be Dynamic Lime Spearmint Zest

Crest Be Inspired Vanilla Mint Spark

At this time, we at SoundBridge recommend using toothpaste that is free of plastic and one which contains fluoride for strong, healthy teeth and gums. Be sure to check back on our blog for more information at is becomes available regarding the use of polyethylene in toothpaste.

Author: GayLynn, RDH

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