- Dental Health

Fluoride VS Non-Fluoride Toothpaste


Oral hygiene is essential for optimal oral health. Chances are, you have heard repeatedly from your dentist that twice-daily teeth brushing and once a day flossing.

You also are good at seeing your dentist every six months. After your first cavities years ago, it has been your personal goal to have a clean bill of oral health each dental visit.

This whole time, you’ve thought that you’re fine using fluoride toothpaste. You’ve heard that it is best for cleaning teeth and removing plaque and germs.

However, you’ve also become concerned about how much fluoride you consume each day.

You realize that there is fluoride in your tap water, which you drink a lot of each day.

After doing some research, you find that consuming too much fluoride is bad for your health and for your teeth and gums.

Should you continue to use fluoride toothpaste or should you consider a non-fluoride toothpaste alternative?

To help you decide, here are some pros and cons of both fluoride and fluoride-free toothpaste:

Fluoride Toothpaste Pros

Fluoride has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel which helps ward off tooth decay. Fluoride’s oral health benefit has resulted in the mass fluorination of tap water in the United States.

The vast majority of toothpastes on store shelves have fluoride in them, making it easy to find the right fluorinated toothpaste for you. Fluorinated toothpaste is also affordable.

Fluoride Toothpaste Cons

Fluoride has been marked by the FDA as a health risk and all fluorinated toothpaste must have a poison control warning on the label. Too much fluoride can have potentially serious negative effects on one’s health, including skin rashes, stomach issues, toxicity, impaired glucose metabolism, hip fractures, damage to the musculoskeletal and nervous system, joint mobility, ligament calcification, muscular degeneration, neurological deficits and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In very rare cases, death has occurred because of consuming too much fluoride. Most of these cases involved small children.

Too much fluoride consumption can also lead to permanent tooth discoloration, called dental fluorosis. With dental fluorosis, white patches or brown stains will appear on the surface of the teeth. These permanent teeth stains don’t cause additional oral health risks, but they can lead to lower self-esteem and self-confidence.

Some patients are allergic to fluoride so using a fluoride toothpaste can result in unpleasant reactions.

Non-Fluoride Toothpaste Pros

The health concerns of fluoride are enough to scare anyone. With the increased awareness of fluoride consumption and its negative effects on one’s oral and overall health, fluoride-free toothpastes have hit the market.

By using fluoride-free toothpaste, you and your family can bypass those potentially serious health risks while at the same time get a fresh, clean-feeling smile.

Because the risks of fluoride poisoning being high in young children, fluoride-free toothpaste takes away the worry of having young “toothbrushers” accidentally swallowing excessive fluoride.

Fluoride-free toothpaste also provides the opportunity for those who are allergic to fluoride to have a fresh, clean smile.

Non-Fluoride Toothpaste Cons

While fluoride-free toothpaste is seen as safer, especially for young children, it doesn’t prevent or protect teeth from cavities like fluoride toothpaste can.

Not many toothpaste manufacturers produce fluoride-free toothpaste, which makes their availability limited and their costs significantly more than their fluorinated counterparts.

Both fluorinated and non-fluorinated toothpastes have their benefits and risks. While there are health risks associated with over-consumption of fluoride, it strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavities. Non-fluorinated toothpastes are safe for young children just learning how to brush their teeth, but it doesn’t protect and strengthen the teeth like fluoride toothpaste can.

The choice to use fluorinated or non-fluorinated toothpaste is one of personal preference. Both non-fluorinated and fluorinated toothpaste have pros and cons. If one is concerned with the health risks of fluoride toothpaste, cutting down on one’s sugar and starch intake while using non-fluorinated toothpaste can reduce one’s risks of cavities.

If you have any concerns about your fluoride intake, it is best to consult with your dentist who can provide professional guidance on which toothpaste is right for you.


Source by Anna Bird

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