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The effects of using a fluoride toothpaste

Date Posted:22 May 2024 

In an earlier post we talked about oral health, but we thought fluoride deserved its own post. Many health advocates advise against fluoride in toothpaste, but why? Is fluoride really that harmful? What are the effects of using a fluoride containing toothpaste long term? 


From what I can ascertain by searching through research papers and the opinions of both conventional and holistic dentists is a big mixed bag conflicting evidence and opinions. There is research to support both sides of the argument. Many conventional dentists state that the benefits of using fluoride far outweigh any risks that may be associated. In contrast holistic dentists and practitioners, advise against it. So what are we supposed to do? Here are some facts, which I have found, and my personal view. It is up to the individual to decide for themselves. I always encourage others to make their decision based on evidence and their own intuition, rather than someone else’s opinion. 

Fluoride is a chemical compound commonly found in toothpaste and tap water, known for its tooth strengthening properties. However, excessive fluoride consumption can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition characterised by brown spots or streaks on the teeth. This has prompted many people to choose fluoride free toothpaste as a better alternative for their oral health.

By ditching fluoride, you can enjoy a range of benefits. Firstly, it is a safer option, particularly for children who may swallow toothpaste while brushing. Secondly, fluoride free toothpaste often contains natural ingredients that help fight cavities and promote healthy gums. Finally, it is suitable for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to fluoride or other synthetic additives.



What we know about fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, which is toxic in high doses in humans. It has been shown to improve the strength and enamel of teeth, which is why it is promoted for dental health. In Australia, along with Europe and USA, fluoride is added to the drinking water in an effort to reduce dental carries in the population. Due to fluoride being added to drinking water, along with many other exposures during a lifetime, it is safe to assume that we are being exposed to a level of fluoride that is surely exceeding that of a safe level. So what are the effects of excess fluoride? Aside from it being toxic in high doses, which can ultimately result in death, fluoride accumulation in the body can have effects on the endocrine system, induce lipid peroxidation as well as oxidative stress and cell apoptosis. In a nutshell, it can cause damage to you cells, organs and interfere with your hormones. Anything that is interacting with your bodies normal functioning, cannot be good for long term health, and can be a contributor to the development of chronic and autoimmune diseases. Now, I’m not saying that fluoride is the cause; rather it may be a contributor, and in a world where we are so frequently exposed to toxins, I believe it is safest to reduce exposure where we can. 


Why is fluoride used in toothpaste

Fluoride has been widely used in toothpaste for decades due to its ability to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. When applied topically to the teeth, fluoride helps to remineralise and repair damaged enamel, making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and bacteria.

The use of fluoride in toothpaste became widespread in the mid-20th century when studies showed its effectiveness in reducing dental cavities. Since then, fluoride has been added to many oral care products.

The inclusion of fluoride in toothpaste is based on the concept of topical application, where the fluoride works directly on the teeth to strengthen them. However, concerns have been raised about the potential risks and side effects of fluoride, particularly when consumed in excessive amounts.



Potential risks and side effects of fluoride in toothpaste

While fluoride has been proven to be effective in preventing tooth decay, excessive fluoride consumption can lead to dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a condition that affects the appearance of the teeth, causing white or brown spots or streaks to form. In severe cases, the enamel may become pitted or rough.

Children are especially vulnerable to dental fluorosis as their developing teeth are more susceptible to the effects of fluoride. This is why it is important for parents to monitor their children's toothpaste usage and ensure they use an appropriate amount and supervise brushing to prevent swallowing.

In addition to dental fluorosis, there have been concerns about the potential systemic effects of fluoride. Some studies have suggested a possible link between fluoride and other health issues, such as bone problems, thyroid dysfunction, and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these risks and the safe levels of fluoride consumption.

Given these concerns, many individuals are seeking fluoride free alternatives to traditional toothpaste. Fluoride free toothpaste offers a safer option for oral care, particularly for those who are at a higher risk of excessive fluoride consumption or have sensitivities to fluoride or other synthetic additives.


So, why is it important to choose fluoride free toothpaste

The choice is yours, really. Due to our massive over exposure to fluoride, anything that you can do to reduce exposure may be beneficial for reducing the risk of chronic disease and toxicity. But you don’t swallow toothpaste, I hear you say? No, hopefully not, but you do absorb a small amount sublingually (through the gums). Over a lifetime, this small amount absorbed through your toothpaste is significantly adding to your toxic load. 

My opinion is that you will never really know if using a fluoride containing toothpaste is detrimental to your health or not, but I have always found sticking as close to nature as possible, to be the best remedy for long term health. Personally, I believe that by eating a clean diet, looking after you digestive health and practicing regular oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and oil pulling, you should be able to maintain good oral health. In fact, I have seen first hand the positive affect on oral health that dietary changes can make. I don’t think fluoride is necessary for oral health. No matter how many fads comes and go about the latest health trends of toxic chemicals, there is one thing that remains constant and true, and that is, where possible, choose natural. Eat natural foods, and use natural products, and you will significantly reduce your toxic exposure, and reduce the risk chronic disease and cancers.



Benefits of using fluoride free toothpaste

Fluoride free toothpaste benefits your oral health in many ways. One of the main advantages is the elimination of the risk of dental fluorosis as you can ensure that you are not exposing yourself or your family to excessive amounts of fluoride, reducing the chances of developing this condition.

Fluoride free toothpaste often contains natural ingredients that have been proven to be effective in promoting oral health. These ingredients may include baking soda, xylitol, and herbal extracts such as tea tree oil or neem oil. Baking soda, for example, has mild abrasive properties that help remove plaque and stains from the teeth. Xylitol, a natural sweetener, has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Herbal extracts can provide additional antimicrobial and anti inflammatory benefits, promoting healthy gums and fresh breath.

Another benefit of fluoride free toothpaste is its suitability for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to fluoride or other synthetic additives. Some people may experience skin irritations, oral discomfort, or other adverse reactions when using toothpaste containing fluoride or artificial ingredients.


Natural ingredients in fluoride free toothpaste

Fluoride free toothpaste often contains a range of natural ingredients that provide effective oral care without the use of synthetic chemicals. These natural ingredients offer various benefits for your teeth and gums, promoting a healthy and clean mouth.

One commonly used natural ingredient is baking soda. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has mild abrasive properties that help remove plaque and surface stains from the teeth. It also helps neutralise acids in the mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. For those seeking a natural oral hygiene solution, switching to fluoride free baking soda toothpaste can enhance your dental care routine by leveraging the cleaning power of baking soda without the fluoride.

Xylitol is another natural ingredient often found in fluoride free toothpaste. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. It helps reduce plaque formation and promotes a healthier balance of oral bacteria.

Herbal extracts, such as tea tree oil and neem oil, are frequently included in natural toothpaste for their antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil has been used for centuries for its natural antiseptic properties, helping to fight bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath. Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, has similar benefits and is known for its ability to support healthy gums.



How to choose the right toothpaste for you

When selecting a toothpaste, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you choose the right product for your needs.

Firstly, check the label for the absence of fluoride and other synthetic additives. Look for toothpaste that is specifically labeled as fluoride free. Avoid toothpaste that contains sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate, or any other fluoride compounds.

Next, consider: This ancient Ayurvedic practice involves swishing oil (typically coconut or sesame oil) in the mouth for several minutes other natural ingredients known for their cavity fighting properties. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, opt for toothpaste that is formulated to provide relief for sensitivity or contains soothing ingredients like aloe vera.

Lastly, consider the flavour and consistency of the toothpaste. Fluoride free toothpaste comes in a variety of flavours, from mint to fruit to herbal. Choose a flavor that you enjoy and find refreshing. Additionally, consider the texture and consistency of the toothpaste. Some people prefer a gel like consistency, while others prefer a more traditional toothpaste texture.

At Sassy Organics, we stock fluoride free toothpaste with best natural and organic ingredients.


Alternatives to fluoride for dental health

For those who are concerned about the risks associated with fluoride or prefer to avoid it altogether, there are alternative approaches to maintaining good dental health.

One of the most important aspects of maintaining oral health is adopting a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash or natural rinses to remove plaque and bacteria.

In addition to good oral hygiene practices, a balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in promoting dental health. Limiting sugary and acidic foods and beverages can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. Incorporating foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients can also support strong teeth and gums.

Regular dental check ups and cleanings are essential for preventing and addressing any dental issues. Your dentist can provide professional cleanings, identify early signs of tooth decay or gum disease, and offer personalised recommendations for maintaining good oral health.

And if you are looking for fluoride free whitening toothpaste, Sassy Organics has got you covered. Embrace a brighter smile with the best fluoride free whitening toothpaste, designed to gently polish away stains and naturally protect your pearly whites without the use of fluoride.



Myth vs. reality: Debunking common misconceptions about fluoride free toothpaste

There are several common misconceptions surrounding fluoride free toothpaste. Let's debunk some of these myths and separate fact from fiction:

Myth 1: Fluoride free toothpaste is not as effective as fluoride toothpaste

Reality: While fluoride has been proven to be effective in preventing tooth decay, fluoride free toothpaste can still provide effective oral care. Many toothpaste brands contain natural ingredients that have been shown to fight cavities and promote healthy gums. In fact, there is also a fluoride free toothpaste with whitening properties, for anyone looking to achieve a radiant smile, naturally, without the addition of fluoride.

Myth 2: Fluoride free toothpaste tastes bad

Reality: Fluoride free toothpaste comes in a wide variety of flavours, just like fluoride toothpaste. There are mint, fruit, and herbal flavors available, so you can find one that you enjoy and find refreshing.

Myth 3: Fluoride free toothpaste is only suitable for adults

Reality: Fluoride free toothpaste is suitable for individuals of all ages, including children. In fact, it can be a safer option for children who are more prone to swallowing toothpaste while brushing.

Myth 4: Fluoride free toothpaste doesn't prevent cavities

Reality: Fluoride free toothpaste can still help fight cavities when used in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices. Many natural ingredients found in fluoride free toothpaste, such as xylitol and baking soda, have been shown to inhibit the growth of cavity causing bacteria and promote oral health.


Final thoughts

Ditching fluoride and switching to fluoride free toothpaste can be a beneficial choice for your oral health. By eliminating the potential risks associated with excessive fluoride consumption, you can reduce the chances of developing dental fluorosis and other related health concerns.

Fluoride free toothpaste offers a range of benefits, including being a safer option for children, containing natural ingredients that promote oral health, and being suitable for individuals with sensitivities to fluoride or synthetic additives.

When choosing a fluoride free toothpaste, consider your specific oral care needs, such as cavity prevention or sensitivity relief. Experiment with different flavors and consistencies to find one that you enjoy and find refreshing. And don't forget to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly for professional check-ups and cleanings.

Make the switch to fluoride free toothpaste today and experience the benefits of a natural and chemical free oral care routine. Your teeth and overall health will thank you for it