Surfactants or foaming agents are used in toothpaste to create the foam we generate with brushing our teeth. Surfactants spread the ingredients of the toothpaste throughout the mouth cavity and the surfaces of the teeth and gums.Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is the most common surfactant used in toothpastes. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (Sarcosinate) is another surfactant that performs the foaming function without additional complications.
SLS is a very effective detergent and foaming agent used for removal of oil, stains and residues. In higher concentrations it is included in industrial cleaners, and degreasers. In lower concentrations it is used in personal care products including soaps, shampoo and is a common ingredient of toothpaste. SLS is widely available and inexpensive. SLS is known to cause mouth ulcers in some people as it dries out the protective layer of the oral mucosa ( due to its anionic charge). These mouth ulcers are a problem for pregnant women already experiencing “dry mouth” Research has also indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system also.
Sarcosinate is a natural product from coconut oil ad is a surfactant that disperses the toothpaste around the teeth and in the oral cavity. It Inhibits microbial growth by inhibiting enzymes that break down sugars into acids and prevents bad breath (halitosis). Sarcosinate has a low oral toxicity, is not found to be mutagenic, irritating or sensitizing, and most importantly for you during pregnancy, does not create “dry mouth” as other surfactants (SLS) are known to do.
In the interests of all mothers-to-be, in neo'mum SLS is replaced by Sarcosinate to minimise the possibility of mouth ulceration
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