FAQs: Fluoride Toothpaste vs. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
These days, it seems that there is always a new health trend sweeping across the globe, bombarding everyone on social media and making headlines in the news. Whether it’s a new fad diet, hair treatment or life hack, there’s always something new to try to improve your life. Often, these tips are hotly debated, like the use of activated charcoal in toothpaste. Similarly, one of the most controversial conversations of this kind is the debate on whether or not toothpaste should contain fluoride.
Different people and sources have different feelings about whether or not toothpaste should contain fluoride. A quick search online yields many different results. Some think that fluoride is essential in maintaining good oral hygiene. Others believe that it’s a harmful chemical that causes damage.
We’re here to sort out the myths from the facts once and for all by answering the most frequently asked questions about toothpaste, fluoride and what it means for your teeth.
What Is Fluoride?
To understand why fluoride might hurt or help your teeth, it’s first important to understand exactly what fluoride is. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in Earth’s water sources and has often been added to water supplies by national governments to strengthen the teeth of its citizens.
When added to toothpaste and used as a topical treatment, studies show that fluoride helps strengthen the enamel in the teeth of both children and adults. Fluoride also stops the demineralization of teeth, which is the first step in getting a cavity. If a cavity has not completely formed in a tooth, fluoride can actually re-mineralize that tooth and reverse the impending cavity.
Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Bad?
Fluoride-free, natural toothpaste or non-fluoridated toothpaste can offer some great benefits to those who use it, including taste and smell. However, if you’re looking to prevent tooth decay and improve your dental health, it’s important to use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste daily to keep your teeth strong. If you prefer the taste or other benefits of a non-fluoridated toothpaste, try mixing it with a fluoridated one to receive the maximum payoff.
Is Fluoride Dangerous?
When used topically, fluoride is not harmful to humans. Even small amounts of fluoride can be ingested without being dangerous to consumers. However, when large amounts of fluoride, or toothpaste that contains fluoride, are swallowed, it can be extremely harmful to the human body.
If you are trying to choose a toothpaste for your young child, this is one case in which you should choose a fluoride-free toothpaste, especially if they are younger than two years old. As they grow up, they can begin to use toothpastes with fluoride added to help strengthen teeth. Until then, it’s best to stay fluoride-free to minimize any risk of accidentally swallowing the toothpaste.
Can You Have Too Much Fluoride?
Hearing all the great benefits of what fluoride can do for you may make it seem like you should get your hands on as much of it as possible. While that may sound good in theory, it’s not so great in practice.
Too much fluoride when used topically can cause a condition known as dental fluorosis. Symptoms of dental fluorosis are discolouration or pitting of the teeth as well as brown or white coloured spots appearing on the teeth. If you experience this, consult a dental expert before continuing to use fluoride.
When Should I Not Use Fluoride?
It seems clear by now that if you are able to use fluoride toothpaste, you should. It helps strengthen teeth, prevents cavities and gives you a healthier smile. However, fluoride is not for everyone.
As mentioned earlier, children younger than two should be given fluoride-free toothpaste in case they swallow it. Some people also experience fluoride allergies or other medical conditions that cause fluoride to do more harm than good. Speak to a physician or dentist about your medical history if you plan to begin using fluoride and are concerned about side effects.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Fluoride toothpaste wins the battle against fluoride-free! In most scenarios, using a fluoride toothpaste is only going to improve your teeth. Only go fluoride-free for those under the age of two or with certain medical concerns.
Navigating the world of dental health isn’t always easy in today’s world. Trust the experts, like those at Whitehorse Dental, to guide you onto the path of better oral hygiene. For more tips and advice on how to get your best smile, visit https://whitehorsedental.com.au/ to see a full list of our in-office services and helpful, online articles.[:]