Eco test: branded children's toothpastes failed

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Children's toothpastes: Three branded products fail Öko-Test

The March edition of Öko-Test magazine dealt with children's toothpastes and tested 24 products. Three branded products failed due to critical ingredients. The consumer advocates point out that dentists and pediatricians do not agree on the subject of fluoride and thus the buck is passed on to parents.

Three branded products bottom of the list in its latest issue, Öko-Test magazine dealt with toothpastes for children and tested 24 products. Although the consumer advocates had "often not to complain" about the ingredients, the declarations "mostly left something to be desired". However, the three branded products Colgate, Odol-Med and Signal failed due to several problematic ingredients and came in last in the evaluation. The consumer advocates each gave point deductions for questionable preservatives, surfactants and dyes. The three brands mentioned did not only contain "PEG or PEG derivatives that can make the skin more permeable to foreign substances, but also the surfactant and foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate sensitive mucous membranes".

Azo dyes not suitable for children's toothpastes The dyes contained in various products were also criticized. For example, azo dyes in children's toothpastes are not a good choice, since toddlers swallow a large part of the toothpaste. Some of these dyes now have to be labeled with a warning in food: "May have an adverse effect on the activity and concentration of children." Azo dyes are suspected of promoting ADHD. The dyes cochineal red, azorubine and quinoline yellow were affected in the tested goods, which can be recognized in the list of ingredients under the names CI 16255, CI 14720 and CI 47005.

Natural cosmetics partially fluoride-free All 24 toothpastes tested were advertised for milk teeth or for infants under six years of age, most of them contain fluoride for caries prevention. Five products, four of them pastes certified as natural cosmetics, are fluoride-free. None of the fluoride-containing pastes in the test were below 500 ppm fluoride. However, the Colgate product contains twice as much as the children's toothpastes in almost all other countries in the world. According to consumer advocates, Germany is almost alone with the small amount of fluoride in children's toothpastes.

Fluoride prevents tooth decay As many scientists point out, fluoride prevents caries. But among dentists and pediatricians it is controversial in which form the trace element should be administered to toddlers. Pediatricians advocate fluoride in the form of tablets for babies and toddlers. They advise that children should only brush their teeth with toothpaste from around the age of four, because from then on they will be able to spit out the mass again. Until then, parents should clean the milk teeth with cotton swabs or a children's toothbrush. The fluoride content recommended by dentists in children's toothpastes is also too low for effective protection against caries.

Dentists and pediatricians with different views On the other hand, dentists would favor moderately fluoridated children's toothpastes. The guideline for small children is 500 ppm, which corresponds to 500 milligrams of fluoride per kilogram of toothpaste. Toothpaste with 1000 to 1500 ppm fluoride should only be used in school children. With fluoride overdosage, fluorosis can occur, with white or yellowish spots on the teeth, since the trace element is then directly deposited in the tooth enamel. Dentists usually recommend brushing toothpaste with a very thin film from the first tooth onwards. And from the age of two, a pea-sized clack is allowed on the toothbrush.

Consumer advocates criticize experts 'dispute In their magazine, consumer advocates criticize the fact that the experts' dispute overwhelms parents and leaves them alone with the decision for the best caries prophylaxis. In order not to hand this legal guardian over to the legal guardians, a clear guideline is necessary. This is simply to prevent parents from using fluoride-containing children's toothpaste and fluoride tablets and risking an overdose. For those who choose fluoride-free children's toothpaste, on the other hand, it is important that they ensure that the child is provided with the trace element in another way. Öko-Test also believes that exact dosage recommendations should be on the packaging so that small children do not take up too much fluoride. (ad)

Image: Christian Seidel /

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