Whatever toothpaste you choose from a supermarket shelf, in 9 out of 10 cases it contains fluoride. However, how safe is it for our teeth and gums and how effective is it in fighting cavities? Can it be replaced by a more ‘natural’ ingredient? Not many know the answers to these questions. So, let’s find out what fluoride is, why it is in our toothpaste and whether it’s bad for our general health.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in food and water. It occurs naturally in rocks and is released in soil, water and even air.
Fluoride is an extremely effective mineral in toothpaste as it helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. When we use fluoride, our teeth become stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. In addition, it reduces the acid the bacteria produce. It is also beneficial to add fluoride separately to water as studies found that it can decrease the amount of decay in children’s teeth by as much as 60%.
Fluoride is safe to use. There have been plenty of studies and reports conducted to prove it. Fluoride doesn’t cause any harmful effects on our general health so it’s a brilliant mineral to use for tooth protection. Rare cases of dental fluorosis happen when too much fluoride is used when teeth are developing. The condition is only a cosmetic concern: it appears as very fine pearly white lines or flecking on the teeth.
However, it is easy to prevent by monitoring children’s teeth until the age of 7. It’s important to remember that a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough for children’s teeth, and they shouldn’t swallow it no matter how scrumptious it looks.
Toothpaste without fluoride makes your mouth feel fresher but does not help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride reduces the demineralization process, which is the first stage of tooth decay. If you have demineralization but not yet a complete tooth cavity, fluoride can help it remineralise. In addition, fluoride disrupts dental plaque, which causes both tooth decay and gum disease.
Using fluoride-free toothpaste is almost equal to not using toothpaste at all. The mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles and dental floss disrupts the dental plaque which ultimately leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Thus, fluoride is a good addition to it.
Overall, it may be said that fluoride is a beneficial toothpaste component that helps prevent tooth cavities. It’s safe and can be used for children. Contact us today if you have any questions on how to keep your teeth healthy and smile beautiful.Back to Blog