A mouth full of chemicals

Recycla’s younger daughter got braces last week. As happened with her older sister, the girl came out of the orthodontist’s office with a large bag filled with supplies, including special brushes for cleaning all that metal, wax for covering sore spots, and a bottle of mouth rinse (a.k.a. mouth wash) for rinsing away food when she can’t use a toothbrush.

When they got home, Recycla went through the bag and sorted everything. When she got to the huge bottle of mouth rinse, she knew immediately that she would not be allowing her daughter to use it, as it’s a conventional brand that is electric blue and she just knew that it would be loaded with chemicals and junk that she doesn’t want her daughter to have on her skin or in her mouth.

On the off chance that she was wrong about this, she turned the bottle around and read the ingredients. Sure enough, there was a blue dye and sodium saccharin and other “flavors,” but there were two things listed that made her eyes widen in surprise: Methylparaben and propylparaben.

Parabens. In a product that is supposed to go in people’s mouths. Holy heck, y’all.

The Eco Women have talked about parabens before but this information always bears reapeating: Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, tooth paste, and even food. (Recycla has seen them in corn tortillas.) Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and studies are finding increasing evidence that parabens are endocrine disruptors. Some studies indicate that parabens applied to the skin (lotions and sunblocks) can lead to increased skin damage in the long run.

Needless to say, Recycla won’t be allowing her family to use this mouth rinse. The unopened bottle will be going back to the orthodontist and she’ll be explaining to the folks there why. In general, she doesn’t see the need for mouth rinses, but if she were to buy one, she would go with brands that she trusts, such as Tom’s, Jason, or Kiss My Face.*

So let this be a lesson for us all: No matter what, you should always read labels carefully. You can’t trust that products will be regulated to the point that they’re trustworthy and crap-free.

* The Eco Women are not employed by any of the companies mentioned, nor were they asked to review their products.


2 thoughts on “A mouth full of chemicals

  1. Amazing how health care providers just pass the stuff out for free, anyway. Because their distribution reinforces the perception that these products are helpful, not harmful.

  2. Dentists also endorse the use of fluoride which we don’t condone at all in our house. Once you start studying that topic, it’s eye-opening. We don’t let the kids get fluoride treatments at the dentist, we use non-fluoridated toothpaste (Kiss My Face is our favorite), and we pre-filter our tap water before it goes into our water ionizer to take out all the fluoride. Because we have the water ionizer we are also able to make our own chemical-free antibacterial mouthwash. Just make 2.5pH water and rinse with that. It’s very effective and is environmentally friendly.

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