To fluo or not to fluo? That is the question.
As you search for the best toothpaste for you, you’ll likely find great options that include fluoride and other options that don’t.
What’s most important is finding a toothpaste that does the following:
- Promotes gum and tooth health
- Builds and improves enamel
- Remineralizes tooth enamel
- Is Toxin-free
Everything else is pretty much personal preference. Teeth whitening, fresh taste, etc. But we think those are nice too ;).
As you research fluoride vs fluoride-free toothpaste, you’ll find sound arguments (backed by research) for both sides.
We’ll show you!
Going with the Fluo(ride)
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the Earth’s crust (and distributed in nature).
Lots of foods and water supplies contain fluoride as well. You’ll oftentimes find fluoride in your community drinking water to help promote tooth care.
To understand how fluoride works, you’ll want to know a bit about your teeth. Your pearly whites are covered by tooth enamel (which is stronger than bone and made with calcium and phosphate).
Want to know what else is loaded with calcium and phosphate? Your saliva.
Your saliva bathes your teeth to help keep them nice and strong.
Our diet (especially things like candy, noodles, and crackers) can produce acids that attack our enamel, leaving it vulnerable to decay and cavities.
When your saliva is packed with fluoride (from your toothpaste or water) your teeth gain the benefit of fluoride+calcium+phosphate=fluoroapatite. This combination creates a stronger resistance to fight decay and protect your teeth.
This is all good news! Why would I ever want a fluoride-free option?
Fluo(ride)-Free Oral Care
Sometimes people like options! If you walk down the toothpaste aisle or talk to just about anyone, they will tell you the benefits of fluoride. And they aren’t wrong!
But what about those worried about overexposure to fluoride?
Low levels of fluoride are great for protecting teeth but too much fluoride can lead to something called dental fluorosis (discoloration of teeth & more) and has even been described as a potential developmental neurotoxin. More on that, here.
Many experts make it clear that the benefits outweigh the risks, but knowing your options allows you to make the choice for yourself!
For more information on fluoride exposure issues, check out this study.
Why else would you want to choose a fluoride-free toothpaste? Maybe you’re allergic or sensitive to fluoride.
Each year around 3 million Americans (roughly 1% of the population) seek medical attention because of fluoride sensitivity. You might be thinking that 1% isn’t a large percentage, but when you are the one seeking medical attention, it’s a big deal!
But if your toothpaste doesn’t have fluoride in it, what is protecting your teeth?
Fluoride-Free Oral Care with Kalident (Hydroxyapatite and Calcium Carbonate)
We’ve already explained a bit about tooth enamel but we want to break it down a bit more.
Tooth enamel is made up of minerals, with the primary mineral being hydroxyapatite.
In fact, 97% of dental enamel and 70% of dentine is comprised of something called Calcium Hydroxyapatite (and human saliva is rich in hydroxyapatite as well).
Remember, we spoke about how awesome saliva is with bathing your teeth to keep them strong? That is until we introduce acidic foods, carbs, etc. into the picture. Then we begin to see demineralization of teeth (removes minerals).
By adding Calcium Hydroxyapatite to teeth, via brushing and toothpaste, you’ll provide minerals to the enamel resulting in remineralization.
This mineral (Calcium-Hydroxyapatite aka Kalident) is the same as what naturally occurs on the tooth and in the saliva to enhance the ability for your teeth to rebuild and remineralize.
Kalident has the strong ability to bind with proteins and to stick to plaque bacteria in the mouth which then get removed during rinsing and brushing. This helps to constantly remineralize teeth, keep them strong, and prevent nasty bacterias that lead to caries.
Fluoride Toothpaste Or Fluoride-Free?
If you are taking the time to research fluoride vs fluoride-free toothpaste, it’s safe to assume that you see the importance of regular oral hygiene. That means brushing and flossing (twice daily).
By far, those are the most important aspects of mouth care.
For those looking for a fluoride-free option, we carry a kids toothpaste (Super Smiles) and an adult toothpaste (Protect & Whiten). Both are fluoride-free.
We decided to go fluoride-free after finding the compelling research behind Kalident (which is in our Protect & Whiten). Kalident studies show it can provide natural remineralization and teeth whitening while reducing hypersensitivity AND removing plaque – what a mouthful :).
We also wanted to provide people with options, whether it’s concerns over the volume of fluoride they are already exposed to or sensitivity to fluoride.
Our fluoride-free toothpastes also fit our product philosophy of being natural, safe, and effective.