The plastic beads that exist in many toothpastes, face washes, and body scrubs are approved by regulators, but dentists are growing increasingly concerned about their effects on gum health.
Though the Food and Drug Administration has deemed them safe, they don't disintegrate, making them a potential dental hazard. Dentists are speaking out against the safety of these beads, claiming that they get stuck in the crevices of the teeth and trap bacteria close to the gums, which can escalate to gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. These beads are found in many Crest products, including Crest 3D White and Crest Pro Health.
Crest responded to these concerns by stating that it had already begun the process of removing the beads from its products, and that they'll be fully phased out by March 2016.
Although many dentists have expressed concern about the beads, the American Dental Association does not condemn these products as unsafe for the public, stating, “…At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene microbeads,” earlier last week.