Fluoride Toothpaste? Yes or No?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in many foods and in all drinking water that helps fight tooth decay. Today it is an ingredient of toothpaste and many dental products.
So, let’s discuss it in detail, why toothpaste and fluoride together? Toothpaste is essential to the daily oral hygiene routine. It helps remove plaque and improves the brushing and cleaning power of a toothbrush. Fluoride is often called “nature’s cavity fighter” due to its many tooth protection characteristics. Fluoride can improve dental health because it strengthens the tooth enamel, which means it is making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth and makes teeth more resistant. It helps remove plaque – the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay. It also helps repair tooth decay in its early stages, even before the decay can be seen. Most toothpaste types now contain fluoride, because of the many advantages. So, do we need additional reasons to prove why fluoride is beneficial if the toothpaste is enriched with it?
However, the question raised recently is if there are any side effects of fluoride. Is it really safe? Well, too much of anything is never good. The same is with fluoride. The so called ‘dental fluorosis’ is a condition caused by having too much fluoride when the teeth are developing. It happens with children under the age of seven if the child swallows fluoride toothpaste. The mildest form of dental fluorosis causes fine white lines on the surface of the teeth and can often only be spotted by a dental expert. Severe fluorosis may cause the discoloration of tooth enamel. Fortunately, severe fluorosis is really rare.
Research about fluoride has been conducted and reports have been published throughout the world. The scientific conclusion is that fluoride toothpaste and correctly fluoridated water, salt and milk are beneficial to dental health, help to reduce decay, and have no harmful side effects to general health.
Millions of people around the world use fluoride toothpastes daily. In the USA for example, well over half of the population also have fluoridated water supplies. This has led to improved dental health. The decline of dental caries noticed in most industrialized countries over the past 30 years can be attributed mainly to the widespread use of toothpaste that contain fluoride.
But what about children’s teeth? Is it safe for children to use fluoride toothpaste? Absolutely! And there are many advantages of its usage. First of all, always use the fluoride toothpaste displaying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Children under the age of three are not capable of brushing their own teeth. That is why parents should do it for them as they start to appear in the mouth. Use fluoride toothpaste and the amount should be as small as a grain of rice. Children between the age of three and six can apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. If children use fluoride when their teeth are developing, they are more likely to have shallower grooves in their teeth. It basically means that plaque can be more easily removed. Parents should supervise their children’s brushing, and always make sure your child spits out most of the toothpaste.
When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, you are doing your teeth a favor because fluoride prevents cavities and strengthens your tooth enamel.