Are you thinking about switching to fluoride-free toothpaste? Before you do, it’s crucial to understand what you could potentially be giving up.
Keep reading this blog post from Shine Dental to learn more.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally found in some water sources, such as lakes or rivers. You can also find fluoride in tap water, as the water supply is enriched with it.
But Why are People Adding Fluoride to Water?
Well, it’s because fluoride is a natural defense against cavities. Drinking tap water and brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste coat your teeth with this mineral which can decrease your risk for cavities.
Why Are People Saying No to Fluoride?
Many consumers worry about the toxicity of fluoride, mostly due to the warning on most labels where people are instructed to reach out to a doctor if they accidentally swallow toothpaste while brushing.
And yes, swallowing fluoride in very high quantities can lead to an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. But in low quantities, like from drinking tap water, it’s generally safe.
Unless you have a known fluoride allergy (which is incredibly rare) and don’t swallow your toothpaste every time you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t worry about any of these side effects.
Still, fluoride-free products market themselves as being just as effective at protecting your teeth but without the potential dangers. Unfortunately, they may be overstating their benefits.
Fluoride Has Over 70 Years of Research
As of now, fluoride is the only ingredient proven to protect your teeth against cavities, a statement backed by decades of peer-reviewed studies. One review looked at 96 studies published between 1955 and 2014, all of which supported fluoride’s cavity-protecting properties.
In fact, the CDC noted that the number of children with missing teeth or cavities dropped 68% between the 1960s and 1990s due to the addition of fluoride to the public water supply.
Of course, you may find alternative studies showing that other ingredients are just as effective or better than fluoride. However, these studies are often small, with 10–30 participants, and are far from conclusive.
Should You Use Fluoridated Toothpaste?
Yes, unless you have a known allergy to it, you should always opt for fluoride-based toothpaste.
Bacteria in your mouth release acids that break down tooth enamel as they feed on food particles. Over time, this bacteria forms a cavity.
Fluoride covers your tooth in a protective layer, which reduces the risk of cavities by remineralizing the tooth.
As far as we know, no other mineral, natural or synthetic, can do that.
How Shine Dental Can Help
Apart from using it in toothpaste, you can see our Sunbury dentist, Dr. Katelyn Miller, to get a fluoride treatment to reverse the early stages of cavities and keep your teeth strong and healthy.