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What is it:

SLS, or Sodium Laurel Sulfate, is an ingredient used in many toothpastes, shampoos, and other toiletries to create that foamy, clean feeling.

What’s the big deal: While most people don’t notice the presence of this compound, for some, it can cause irritation and allergies. Those with SLS sensitivity will experience irritation and discomfort in the mouth, dryness and an uncomfortable feeling after brushing. Although these side effects are rare, those who are allergy prone or sensitive to sulfates, it may be better to select an SLS-free toothpaste. For those without allergies and sensitivities, the SLS will not be harmful so either way, you’re safe.

What to Pick: For those opting for the SLS-free version, Dr. Patel recommends Burts Bees Extra White Fluoride toothpaste. It’s also free of parabens, artificial flavors and sweeteners, blue, red & yellow dye, and plastic microbeads. Bonus points as it is accepted by the American Dental Association and Cruelty-free!

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