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Why avoid fluoride in toothpaste?

Oct 2, 2023Oral health, Oral Hygiene

Why avoid fluoride in toothpaste?

Fluoride in toothpaste is sometimes consciously avoided by individuals due to the potential risk of dental fluorosis, a condition characterized by the emergence of white lines or spots on the enamel surface. It is worth noting, however, that this occurrence solely transpires during tooth development beneath the gum line.

It is essential to acknowledge that toothpaste is not intended for consumption; however, it arises as a challenge for young children who may lack this awareness. Thus, it is highly advised to exercise supervision while children engage in dental hygiene practices, specifically during their toothbrushing routines.

Fluoride, a mineral that naturally exists within the Earth’s crust, has been introduced into public water supplies approximately seven decades ago, with the purpose of enhancing dental health across communities.

Prolonged consumption of water containing excessive amounts of fluoride or long-term ingestion of toothpaste can result in the development of skeletal fluorosis, a condition characterized by an array of symptoms. Apart from joint pain and stiffness, individuals affected by this ailment may experience calcification of ligaments in severe instances, leading to both physical pain and hindered mobility.


What does fluoride do?

On a daily basis, the enamel, which functions as a safeguarding outer layer of your tooth, experiences a fluctuation in mineral levels. Acidic substances, originating from oral bacteria, plaque, and sugars, initiate an assault on your enamel, resulting in mineral depletion. This phenomenon is known as demineralization. The acquisition of essential minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate occurs through the consumption of food and water that naturally contains these vital elements, a phenomenon commonly referred to as remineralization.

Tooth decay arises when an excessive demineralization process occurs, but fails to be adequately counterbalanced by remineralization.

The application of dental fluoride is instrumental in mitigating tooth decay, as it fortifies and reinforces the enamel, enhancing its resilience against corrosive acid attacks. Moreover, it possesses the capacity to reverse the initial stages of dental decay.


The Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride toothpaste is associated with a multitude of well-documented advantages, comprising an extensive range of benefits as listed below:

1. Strengthens the enamel: During the initial phases of tooth development, fluoride possesses the capacity to merge with the external structure of the tooth, forming tiny crystals referred to as fluorapatite crystals. These resultant bonds exhibit enhanced strength and heightened resistance against dental caries and deterioration.

2. Alters the tooth structure: Fluoride modifies the dental composition, resulting in a reduction of depth within the crevices present on the teeth. Consequently, this diminishes the likelihood of dental decay occurrence.

3. Reverses tooth decay: The initial phase of dental caries primarily involves the demineralization of the tooth’s structure. Fortunately, fluoride possesses the capability to induce remineralization, effectively counteracting this damage.

4. Fights against harmful bacteria: Fluoride has been substantiated through reliable documentation, highlighting its advantageous impact on countering oral bacteria.


Should You Use Fluoride-free Toothpaste?

Fluoride represents the most effective component for safeguarding teeth against cavities. By ensuring its expulsion subsequent to tooth brushing, individuals can confidently adopt this secure alternative to maintain the impeccable health of their teeth. However, this decision pertains to personal inclinations, varying according to age, specific fluoride requirements, and individual preferences.

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We invite you to visit our Redlands dental clinic. Our skilled professionals provide high-quality care and services. We are excited to meet you and help with all of your dental needs!

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