Any dentist will agree that proper dental care includes:
- At least two teeth cleaning visits a year
- Brushing your teeth two to three times a day
- Using mouthwash
Following these instructions from your dentist will contribute to healthy and long-lasting teeth. But have you ever thought about the type of toothpaste you’re using? A common ingredient found in toothpaste is fluoride. However, when you notice many “fluoride-free” oral care products, the question arises: is fluoride toothpaste bad for you?
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral released from rocks into the soil, water, and air. While most water may contain some traces of fluoride, it’s usually not enough to prevent tooth decay. For this reason, fluoride is a common ingredient in most toothpaste.
Fluoride is an ingredient added to toothpaste because it makes tooth enamel stronger. When people eat sugar and other refined carbohydrates, bacteria in your mouth will produce certain acids that remove minerals that fortify the tooth’s surface.
Fluoride will remineralize the surfaces of your teeth, preventing cavities from forming and making your teeth more resistant to tooth decay. It also has antibacterial properties that fight the growth of bacteria and prevent microbes from sticking to your teeth.
Is Fluoride Safe For Use in Toothpaste?
The short answer is yes. The American Dental Association refers to fluoride as the “superhero who can save your teeth from cavities.” It’s not only found in toothpaste but also some mouthwash products and tap water in some cities.
Why, then, do some people think fluoride is harmful to you? The main reason is that fluoride is not meant to get ingested, so your body shouldn’t take in too much. However, any oral health products that contain a lot of fluoride can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities.
As adults, we understand that we don’t swallow the toothpaste we use, so watch out for your children’s toothpaste. Ingesting too much fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which refers to faint white lines or streaks that appear on your teeth. This condition only occurs with younger children that consume too much fluoride.
Should I Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?
The fluoride-free toothpaste, as the name suggests, means the product lacks fluoride. So how effective are they in promoting good dental health? These kinds of toothpaste use natural ingredients like:
- Hydrated silica. It’s a mild abrasive that works with calcium carbonate to clean teeth, remove plaque and stains, and give toothpaste its gel-like texture.
- Cranberry extract and xylitol. Ingredients that raise the pH of your mouth to limit bacterial growth.
While fluoride-free toothpaste will leave your teeth clean, unfortunately, it won’t strengthen your teeth the way fluoride does.
Local Dentist Near Me
Do you live in Clementon, New Jersey, or the surrounding areas? The team at Dental of Clementon is eager to provide you with an excellent dental care orientation. Some of our other services include:
- Cosmetic Dentistry
Schedule an appointment today and let Dental of Clementon give you a smile you can love.