Washington Post Article on Toothpaste Additives: My Comments

Not all toothpaste additives are beneficial.

This article, linked below, is from the Health section of the Washington Post. It raises some interesting points about toothpaste additives — some I agree with and some I disagree with. Some need further investigation:

Detergents: I disagree with what the article reports. Testing has demonstrated that foaming agents do help with the cleaning ability of toothpaste and the removal of plaque.
Whiteners: I agree with what is written. I believe that whiteners in toothpaste have little, if any, effect upon the staining of your teeth. Plus, they can contribute to sensitivity
Desensitizers: These are often very effective if used properly. The diagnosis of the reason for the sensitivity is the key here, which is what was stated in the article.
Triclosan: The FDA currently has this chemical additive under considerable scrutiny. The research is not conclusive, but it does seem to point to some health issues with triclosan. Therefore, at this point, I advise caution with its use.
Xylitol: I disagree with the article here. Many studies have shown its effectiveness. Furthermore, you would have to swallow amounts much greater than in your dab of toothpaste to cause bloating or diarrhea. They fail to mention this in the article, which indicates to me that they really didn’t do their research on this.
In conclusion, the Washington Post made some good points in the article. Some of what they reported, however, has little basis in fact. As always, you should consult with your dentist if you have any questions.