If you happen to be using Crest toothpaste and have noticed small blue specks on your teeth or gums we can attribute this to a form of plastic used as an additive, thanks to our colleagues who have looked into this matter. Not all Crest toothpaste contains this additive, but many do and we will list those at the end of this post.

Dentists and hygienist have been increasingly noticing ‘blue specks’ that are embedded in our patient’s gums. Preliminary findings reveal that these blue bits are a form of plastic called polyethylene. This news is not really surprising, as this material has been used in many products such as body scrubs, shampoos, and other cleansing products.

The blue particles do not seem to be dissolving easily in saliva or at all for that matter, as our doctors and hygienist have noticed more patients presenting with undissolved blue specks around the gums and teeth. While we have not performed a research study we can say that our patients who have presented with this have all been using a Crest toothpaste. Some theories for the polyethylenes presence is for decorative purpose or as a cheap filler material.

As of this time, we do not know of any benefit or detriment due to polyethylene in toothpaste. We cannot recommend or discourage the use of dental products that contain polyethylene. Our goal is to spread this information so you can make an informed decision.


Toothpaste containing polyethylene (blue specks), courtesy Trish Walraven

List of known toothpastes containing polyethylene (courtesy of Trish Walraven RDH)

Crest 3D White Radiant Mint

Crest Pro-Health For Me

Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh

Crest 3D White Enamel Renewal

Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Whitening Plus Deep Clean

Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast

Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Extra White+ Crystal Clean Anti-Bac

Crest Be Adventurous Mint Chocolate Trek

Crest Be Dynamic Lime Spearmint Zest

Crest Be Inspired Vanilla Mint Spark

Crest Pro-Health Healthy Fresh

Crest Pro-Health Smooth Mint