Telling tales when it comes to brushing those baby sparkly whites is not exactly rare amongst kids. Either they don't brush them or they like the taste and swallow. This may seem relatively harmless, given the stuff is made for use in the mouth right?

Wrong. Big brand toothpastes you find on the supermarket shelf are made with a surprising number of chemicals that can effect our health. Children who fail to spit it out are most at risk as their swallowing reflexes are not well developed compared to adults. If swallowed, toothpaste containing fluoride can (ironically) cause permanent discolouring of teeth, a condition known as dental fluorosis. The University of York conducted a study that found 48% of children in areas where fluoride was added to their water supply showed signs of fluorosis compared to 15% in non-fluoridated areas.

You can find toothpastes that are fluoride free. If you or your children have never tried a natural toothpaste before it's best to use one that foams gently (without SLS) as this is the thing people find most off putting when making the switch from commercial chemical laden toothpastes.

Read What's on the End of Your Toothbrush to find out what other nasties can be found in toothpastes.