"Is it necessary to use fluoride-containing toothpaste?"

Health News

24 Feb 2024

Is it necessary to use fluoride-containing toothpaste ?

      Why is fluoride-free toothpaste becoming popular, along with information that using fluoride in toothpaste can have long-term effects on us, making many people wonder which type of toothpaste, fluoride-containing or fluoride-free, is better.

What is Fluoride?

      Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in soil, rocks, particularly in groundwater, and can also be found in foods like tea leaves, seafood, meat, and vegetables. Fluoride has properties that help prevent tooth decay.

Benefits of Fluoride:

  • Fluoride is abundant in growing bones and developing teeth, helping to strengthen the enamel of milk teeth and permanent teeth before eruption.
  • Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel of erupted permanent teeth. It works during mineral dissolution and remineralization phases of naturally occurring minerals in our mouths.
  • After eating, our saliva becomes acidic, causing mineral dissolution, or the breakdown of calcium and phosphate beneath the tooth surface. Fluoride protects teeth from acid.
  • At other times when saliva is less acidic, fluoride works in the opposite direction by aiding in the uptake of calcium and phosphate, which strengthens our teeth. This process is the remineralization of naturally occurring minerals. With fluoride during this time, accumulated minerals strengthen, leading to stronger teeth and preventing demineralization in future mineral dissolution phases.

Risks of Using Fluoride:

  • Fluoride use should be within prescribed limits. For example, fluoride-containing toothpaste recommends usage up to 1,500 parts per million (ppm), starting from the first tooth or around six months of age, in a small amount. The amount of usage will vary with each age group. With continuous proper usage, it poses no danger to the body.
  • However, excessive fluoride intake can be harmful to the body. This mostly occurs through ingestion, such as swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride in large amounts. If there are abnormal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, medical attention should be sought immediately. Therefore, fluoride use should be under the guidance of a dentist or following the instructions indicated on the toothpaste tube.

      Fluoride is an essential substance known for its excellent tooth decay prevention properties and affordability. Dentists recommend using toothpaste with fluoride as an ingredient in amounts not exceeding 1,500 ppm, which is a safe amount for the body and effectively inhibits tooth decay when used correctly.


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