You must have seen a lot of people switching to a fluoride-free toothpaste and must have wondered about the reason behind it. There are murmurs and whispers over the internet questioning the benefits of fluoride toothpaste. Toothpaste containing fluoride is being linked to everything, from hormonal breakouts to kidney stones and from cancer to skin problems. In reality, though, there is little to no concrete evidence proving that using a fluoride-based toothpaste can cause all of these problems.
People are making a move toward fluoride-free toothpaste mainly because of the advertisement tactics being used by companies offering fluoride-free toothpaste labeling them as ‘natural’ and ‘good for health’. But dental science has some reservations about it as fluoride is very well the single main ingredient that can help prevent cavities. Let’s take a look at some genuine facts regarding fluoride and fluoride-free toothpaste and bust some myths.
Fluoride and its Importance:
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in almost all main water sources like lakes, oceans, and rivers. In the United States, fluoride is being added to water supplies and is meant to make teeth stronger and prevent cavities. But, that work can only be done if that fluoride is being directly applied to the teeth in the form of toothpaste or any other dental product.
Fluoride helps the enamel in absorbing minerals which consequently helps in keeping the teeth hard and intact. Furthermore, fluoride converts some of the hydroxyapatite (a chemical found in tooth enamel) into fluorapatite which helps in creating resistance against acids, thus protecting the teeth from cavities.
According to consumers of fluoride-free toothpaste, they think that using fluoride in water and toothpaste is making them more prone to a lot of health hazards and ingesting a huge amount of fluoride every year is increasing their health risks.
But the fact is, fluoride compounds in toothpaste are the only thing that can prevent cavities and no other ‘substitute’ can do the job of fluoride. Fluoride in toothpaste is being used with the approval of the FDA and is added in an FDA-approved quantity. We can only go for fluoride-free toothpaste if we use no sugar and keep our teeth completely plaque-free. Of course, that is not plausible and so is the use of fluoride-free toothpaste.
For 70 years, fluoride is being added in public water systems and toothpaste and has proved to reduce tooth decay by 25%. When people switch to a substitute, they are questioning this huge fact, when in fact those substitutes cannot and will not replace the benefits of fluoride.
What Does the Anti-Fluoride Community Say?
On the other hand, the fluoride disapprovers disregard the benefits of fluoride saying that all the research on the benefits of fluoride is mixed and we are still ingesting too much fluoride. When fluoride is combined with toothpaste, it forms a chemical mixture that is really harmful to health even if the toothpaste companies are adding the approved amount of fluoride in it. Reason? We are supposed to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste every time we brush our teeth, but, we rarely ever use the prescribed amount. Consequently, if there are any benefits of fluoride, they get offset with its side effects.
Using more than a prescribed quantity of fluoride has some disadvantages; it causes discoloration of teeth and dense and brittle bones (commonly known as dental and skeletal fluorosis respectively). That is the reason why people have started switching toward fluoride-free toothpaste. They aim to make a shift toward using less harmful products.
Our Advice on Fluoride-free Dental Products:
Both of the arguments are correct. But looking at all the flip sides, we have to say that fluoride can only be harmful if you start ingesting larger doses of it than recommended. Switching altogether to a fluoride-free toothpaste can make your worries worse and may result in cavities and tooth decay. Individuals should use only a pea-sized quantity of toothpaste whenever they brush their teeth and should make sure not to swallow it. That way, the harmful effects of it can be prevented.
Some BDS Dental practitioners have some serious reservations about fluoride-free toothpaste. According to them, those are just nicely packaged tubes without any effective ingredients. These fluoride-free toothpaste companies have removed everything responsible for dental care and have replaced them with ingredients that are essentially just fancy sounding oils. When presented with the list of ingredients used in fluoride-free toothpaste, they said that they are unable to say anything good or positive about them other than the fact that their packaging is pretty great.
Still, if you are keen on using a fluoride-free toothpaste, try using the one by Aesop, which helps in preventing a lot of dental problems like plaque redevelopment and inflammation of the gum.
List of Best Flouride-Free Toothpastes
#1 Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Children’s Toothpaste
#2 Burt’s Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Free Purely White, Zen Peppermint
#3 Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste
#4 Hello Oral Care Fluoride Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste
#5 Hello Oral Care Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Fluoride Free and SLS Free Toothpaste
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