Öko-Test evaluates almost 50 different toothpastes. In some of them, questionable ingredients could be detected - even in well-known brands.
Munich - Three minutes from red to white at least twice a day: Even as a child, we learn important rules about brushing our teeth. But which dental care products support us best? After Stiftung Warentest has already investigated the question of the best toothpaste, Öko-Test is now also putting various products to the test.
Already banned in food: titanium dioxide in 15 of the 48 toothpastes examined
Öko-Test tested 48 different toothpastes. The results were published in issue 04/2023 and are in some cases frightening: 15 of the products examined contain titanium dioxide. The white color pigment has been banned for food in 2022. At that time, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed it as "no longer safe" - it could not be ruled out that the substance had a genotoxic effect. At the beginning of the year, Öko-Test had also detected the substance in many children's toothpastes and warned against it.
Among the toothpastes with titanium dioxide is also the well-known toothpaste "Aronal gum protection". It is true that the ban on titanium dioxide so far only applies to food. However, there could also be a danger from care products that are inhaled or swallowed. For this reason, in June 2022, the EU Commission instructed the Consumer Safety Committee (SCCS) to reassess the safety of titanium dioxide in cosmetics such as toothpastes. The statement is expected this year, as Stiftung Warentest writes.
Some well-known toothpastes should no longer be used. © Patrick Pleul / dpa
Another point deduction: lead and missing fluoride
Among the 48 toothpastes examined by Öko-Test were 17 products with natural cosmetics certification. These included, for example, Dentural Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste (Happybrush), Dr. Hauschka Med Mint Toothpaste Forte and Weleda Calendula Toothpaste. Because these three did not contain fluoride, they could not have achieved a better grade than poor. Öko-Test referred to the guidelines for dentistry of the German Society for Conservative Dentistry and the German Society for Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine: There it is recommended "from the eruption of permanent teeth to brush with a toothpaste containing at least 1000 ppm fluoride (i.e. 1,000 milligrams per kilogram)".
However, the grade does not remain deficient, because lead was also detected in all three toothpastes. They therefore received the verdict "unsatisfactory". Ökotest gave the same grade to the natural cosmetic product "Terra Natura Biodent Basics, without fluorides" - in addition to lead, the harmful semimetal arsenic was also detected above the avoidable value.
- Toothpaste with Öko-Test result "very good" (excerpt):
- Alverde 5 in 1 Toothpaste Nanamint by dm
- Happy Brush Natural Superfresh Toothpaste
- Bioturm Toothpaste Organic Mint with Fluoride
- Dentalux 3-FachSchutz Fresh Gel from Lidl
- Eurodont Toothpaste Coolfresh by Aldi
- Electrolytic capacitors Denta Max Fluor Fesh tooth gel from Edeka
- Diadent Tooth Gel Fluor Fresh by Netto/Budni
The heavy metal lead has only been detected in natural cosmetic toothpaste. This can be explained by the fact that semi-metals and heavy metals can enter the products via mineral raw materials such as alumina or aluminum silicate. However, according to Öko-Test, manufacturers are obliged to keep these impurities as low as possible.
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Blend-A-Med, Signal Sport et al.: Test losers due to aggressive surfactants
- Toothpaste with Öko-Test result "insufficient" (excerpt):
- Blend-A-Med All-Around Protection Classic (by Procter & Gamble)
- Colgate Complete 8in1 Extra Fresh
- Odol-Med 3 Original
- Signal Sport Gel Fresh Toothpaste (by Unilever)
- Dentagard Herbs (by Colgate-Palmolive)
- Dentural Natural Fluoride Free Toothpaste (Happybrush)
- Dr. Hauschka Med Mint Toothpaste Forte
- Weleda Calendula Toothpaste
There were further negative points in the test for aggressive surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate and PEG/PEG derivatives. These can make the skin and mucous membrane more permeable to foreign substances. This criterion resulted in other test losers such as Blend-A-Med All-Around Protection Classic (from Procter & Gamble), Odol-Med 3 Original and Signal Sport Gel Fresh Toothpaste (from Unilever).