To put it simply - no, fluoride toothpaste isn’t bad for you, as long as it’s used correctly and in appropriate doses. In fact, the NHS recommends using it daily to help prevent tooth decay, with toothpastes containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride being the most effective.
The only time in which fluoride could pose a threat to your health is if you were to have too much. Too much fluoride may lead to dental fluorosis - a condition that produces a change in the colour of tooth enamel.
Why Is Fluoride Used in Toothpaste?
Fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay and assist in overall good dental hygiene. In fact, fluoride is known to remove tartar, reduce plaque and protect teeth. The presence of fluoride in your mouth can also attract strengthening minerals (such as calcium) to the area. Calcium is super beneficial for our bones, helps repair tooth damage and keeps our teeth healthy and strong.
Fluoride also features antibacterial properties that inhibit bacterial growth and prevent microbes from sticking to teeth.
Learn more about the benefits of using fluoride toothpaste here.
How Does Fluoride Strengthen Teeth?
After using fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride ends up in your saliva. When your teeth are coated in that saliva, the enamel (the outer layer of your teeth) absorbs the fluoride. Once there, the fluoride bonds with the calcium and phosphate that naturally exist in your enamel to create fluorapatite - a strong material that can resist decay and help prevent cavities.
As well as resisting decay, fluorapatite remineralises the tooth areas which have been weakened. All in all, fluorapatite is an excellent form of defence and protection for tooth enamel.
What About Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?
Generally, dentists discourage patients from using fluoride-free toothpaste due to the mineral’s effects on long-term tooth health, but some may opt for a fluoride-free toothpaste for a number of reasons. For example, those who have a fluoride allergy or have experienced dental fluorosis. Some parents may choose fluoride-free toothpaste if their child has a habit of swallowing toothpaste, which as mentioned above, increases the risk of fluorosis. Some people also believe that the amount of fluoride released into the water through toothpaste is harmful to the environment.
Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Better?
Although fluoride-free toothpaste is effective at removing stains and cleaning your teeth, it does not have the ability to strengthen the teeth and inhibit bacterial growth in the same way that fluoride toothpaste does. So, in terms of it being better for overall dental hygiene, the answer is simply no. That's why the Brush Fresh team will always recommend the use of a fluoride based toothpaste product to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Although it isn’t initially recommended, fluoride-free toothpaste does however offer a number of its own benefits. For example, fluoride-free toothpaste includes ingredients that can make your mouth feel fresher. It can also target the bacteria in your mouth with ingredients like calcium phosphates, xylitol and essential oils, as well as aiding teeth whitening.
What Is the Best Toothpaste With Fluoride?
Now, we might be a tiny bit biased, but we believe the best toothpaste with fluoride has to be the Brush Fresh Toothpaste Tablets. Not only are they super effective in cleaning teeth, but they are also environmentally friendly… it's a win-win. To use one, simply place one in your mouth, chew it until it turns into a paste, pop your (wet) toothbrush in, and brush as normal for 2 minutes.
These tubeless, zero waste toothpaste tablets are perfect for everyday use. Great for travel (it is hand luggage friendly - we promise it is leak proof!) and most of all to better your oral health! This product shows that we can be both healthy for ourselves, and healthy to the environment.
Brush Fresh Co. is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our product range has been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first. For more information and dental care advice, head over to our blog page or get in contact with us here.Written by Kate, for Brush Fresh Co.