Pros and Cons of Using Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Fluoride is a staple in many dental care products. It’s been proven to be safe for our bodies and effective at protecting our teeth, especially at a young age. But Americans love to have the freedom of choice, and now there are options for toothpastes that contain fluoride and for toothpastes that are fluoride-free. How do you choose which is right for you?

Here’s a closer look at some of the pros and cons of fluoride-free toothpaste.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that happens to be effective at preventing tooth decay and cavities. It’s found in many foods and freshwater sources. Because it is effective at fighting cavities and has little to no side effects on our bodies, it is also added to almost all municipal water supplies in the U.S., as well as many dental hygiene products.

Pros of fluoride

There are many benefits of using fluoride. The most prominent benefit associated with fluoride use is prevention of cavities. It does this by being absorbed by the enamel in your teeth and then attracting other minerals to the teeth, which helps strengthen them and keep them hard.

There is another way fluoride is helpful in preventing cavities. Tooth enamel comprises hydroxyapatite. Fluoride converts some of that material to fluorapatite, which is more resistant to acids and, therefore, protects against cavities forming.

Fluoride is also safe for our bodies. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that everyone should receive frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. It’s especially important for children, as fluoride is most helpful when teeth are still forming.

Cons of fluoride

There are not many cons to using fluoride, but there are some negative side effects that can come from overuse of fluoride. These typically only occur when children receive too much fluoride over a long period of time, which can happen if a child is prescribed dietary fluoride supplements in an area that already has fluoride drinking water or for a child who already uses fluoride toothpaste.

This can cause dental fluorosis, also known as “mottled teeth.” This can result in streaks, spots or pits on the surface of teeth; in severe cases, the enamel can develop gray, black or brown spots. This is easily treatable and is generally so mild that it is only noticed by a dental professional during a checkup.

Which toothpaste is right for you?

Whether you choose to use fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride-free toothpaste is up to you. As an adult, it’s not as important to have such a high dose of fluoride. Especially considering it’s likely already in the water supply, you will likely be receiving its benefits either way. Since there are few negative side effects caused by fluoride, you will likely be safe to choose toothpaste with or without it.

For more information on fluoride-free toothpaste or to pick up some and try it yourself, contact A Gift of Health or pay us a visit today. We look forward to assisting you!

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