Fluoride was first thought to prevent tooth decay and strengthen teeth as far back as 1910.
Since then, Fluoride has been used in a variety of forms to promote oral health. From mouth rinses to toothpastes to drinking water.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding Fluoride. Certainly, as with most things, if used in excessive quantities and irresponsibly fluoride can have some negative side effects.
This is why Fluoride levels in products are regulated by governments to ensure that the population benefit from the correct doses and do not over ingest. This is done by implementing strict percentage guidelines with toothpastes and other oral health products.
Fluoride use in toothpaste is promoted by the Australian Dental Association and its use is taught in dental schools all over Australia. This would not be the case if it hadn’t been shown to be effective and safe to use.
Fluoride has been considered beneficial for dental decay for over 10 decades and there are countless studies going back even as far as the 1920’s. Whilst it is great that we explore new ideas and evolve in dentistry, it is important to not be put off something so beneficial by misleading information.
With a growing number of products promoting the removal of fluoride in recent years, we at CHEWS wanted to reinforce why we think Fluoride is an important part of your oral health regime. Please also speak to your dentist about this if you have any questions.
We wanted to make sure we used all-natural products in our Toothpaste tablets, and this includes Fluoride. Fluoride actually occurs everywhere in nature. It can be found in rocks, soil and is found naturally in sea water, rainwater and even fresh water. Because of its abundance in soil, fluoride is also found in a lot of vegetation and therefore in many foods. Examples of this are spinach, potatoes, tea, fish, grapes… the list goes on.
In fact, a fluoride free diet would be a much harder diet to do than a low carb diet!!
Fluoride is amazing. It combines with phosphate and calcium in our saliva to fill in any holes caused by the acids when we eat. This makes our teeth even stronger than they were before… It is the star player of the team!
The new layer formed is now stronger than the original tooth. The layer is called Fluorapatite, and this is a lot more resistant to acid attack than the original tooth surface which is called hydroxyapatite.
It is because of this that Dentists sometimes use higher concentrations of fluoride topically on people who have a high risk of tooth decay because this Fluorapatite provides a stronger protection than the hydroxyapatite. In most people however, the lower concentrations of fluoride found in toothpaste are enough to strengthen any weakened areas caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Fluoride is already present in saliva but unfortunately if there is too much bacteria and the hole is developing too fast, there isn’t enough fluoride to fight back. By using a fluoride toothpaste, we increase the amount of fluoride in the saliva and therefore the balance tips and our teeth start to win.
The fluoride combines with phosphate and calcium, also found in the saliva/ toothpaste and the acid is neutralised. The hole has been prevented and the tooth is now stronger.
Think of it as different types of wood. Have you ever hammered a nail into soft pine and then into oak? Both are types of wood, but both are very different in strength. After using Fluoride, we are upgraded to an oak. Which would you prefer if your teeth were made of wood?!
So, we know fluoride helps to strengthen teeth. What about whether it is toxic and bad for us?
As with so many things, if ingested in large quantities, fluoride can have negative side effects. However, fluoride is shown to not be a problem if used correctly. Water fluoridation only adds roughly 0.7 parts per million and Toothpaste only has around 0.3% Fluoride in it! Fluoride would not be recommended by health professionals all over the world after nearly 100 years if it was indeed toxic to us.
In conclusion, we should all be excited at the prospect of new advances in dentistry. However, it is important to follow your dentist’s advice and make sure you are still looking after your oral health needs when choosing your toothpaste. We believe fluoride is essential in everyday cleaning and highly recommend it.
Whilst we believe there is a place for non-fluoride toothpastes for certain people/ circumstances, we recommend this is discussed with your dentist.
With decades of studies highlighting its benefits and no real evidence to worry about using it, Fluoride really has been given a bad name for no real reason. Remember, most things in high quantities can be problematic.
The key is to follow expert advice just as you would with other health issues and speak to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.
If you are worried about it not being natural, just remember what else Fluoride is found in such as foods and natural water.
If you are still unsure about its benefits to teeth – speak to your dentist!