Yes, to Fluoride toothpaste
April 05, 2022
There needs to be more clarity about fluoride toothpaste, as the topic is a lot of people questioning if they should be moving to a fluoride-free toothpaste. We discuss some misconceptions regarding fluoride-free toothpaste and what it means for your daily routine.


Ina Alberts

There is a growing trend towards using fluoride-free toothpaste. This is because of the misconception that fluoridated toothpaste can be harmful to our health. Let’s recap.


Dental caries (tooth decay) develops when bacteria in plaque metabolize sugars in our diet to produce acid that demineralizes tooth structure. The pH of saliva is around 7.8 and is ideal for tooth remineralization. However, as we consume food and beverages, the oral pH drops below 5.5, and your teeth risk mineral loss until the pH recovers. Prolonged periods of a low pH cause more demineralization than mineralization and, with time, damage our teeth.

Excessive fluoride intake during the first eight years of life (during tooth development) can result in Fluorosis (white or brown speckles, surface irregularities or pits on teeth). Although Fluorosis is not a disease, it can have cosmetic implications. Parental vigilance is vital to preventing Fluorosis. Fluoride can be present in drinking water and beverages, which should be considered. It is essential to introduce fluoride toothpaste (the right concentration for the age) at an appropriate age (when a child will obey and spit out the toothpaste), only to use a pea-sized amount and under adult supervision.

Acute fluoride toxicity can occur after ingesting one or more doses of fluoride over a short period. This happens mainly due to unsupervised ingestion of dental and oral hygiene products. When it is present in saliva in the right concentration, its action is beneficial through remineralizing tooth enamel. Keep fluoride-containing products out of reach of children. Although fluoride toxicity usually doesn’t have serious consequences, it sends several hundred children to emergency rooms each year.

We should recognize that fluoride is beneficial for tooth development and protection again cavities. Without it, we are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Using fluoride-containing toothpaste twice daily is the most effective and cheapest way to protect our teeth from decay.

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