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Fluoride Toothpaste: What to Know About It

Posted on 1/9/2023 by Evan
Fluoride Toothpaste: What to Know About ItFluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in food, water, rocks, and soil. Fluoride is added to toothpaste, mouthwashes, salt, and water; it aids in reducing dental caries. Dental caries - commonly known as tooth decay- is caused by bacteria that aggregate on teeth. The bacteria then produce acidic metabolites that damage the tooth enamel. 

Toothpaste Ingredients

The main ingredients of toothpaste include abrasives like calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate, binders like sodium alginate, foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate, and preservatives. Supplementary ingredients include fluoride, sweeteners, flavorings, and anti-sensitivity agents among others.

The Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride protects the teeth against decay by slowing down acid production that is produced by the bacteria formed by plaque. It also helps strengthen the enamel and protects the teeth from demineralization, which happens when sugars and bacteria coalesce to form bacteria. While at it, it remineralizes by catalyzing calcium and phosphate ions, which are acid-resistant. 

Risks of Fluoride

A high amount of fluoride may lead to dental fluorosis, which is a condition that changes the color of the tooth enamel. This usually presents itself as brown or white spots on the teeth. This is commonly experienced when taking unprocessed water with high fluoride content.  

In toothpaste, fluoride is in too low amounts to pose any risks to children. However, intake of fluoride among children under the age of 6 through ingesting toothpaste while brushing is discouraged as this may lead to mild fluorosis. 

Generally, fluoride is considered safe in toothpaste but there is an ongoing discourse about its safety in food, water mouthwashes, and other sources. Talk to our dental team about fluoride use. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above caused either by fluoride deficiency or high levels, contact us. We will advise and treat you upon visiting our clinic.

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