Is it Safe to Consume Toothpaste?
Fluoride in dentistry - necessary or harmful?
Lately there have been reports that toothpastes with fluoride do not protect teeth in the long term, on the contrary, they even damage them. What is the truth of the allegations? The following text provides you with essential information on the subject of "fluoride in dentistry".
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is the salt of hydrofluoric acid. It is a natural trace element that occurs in small amounts in drinking water and in food. Regardless of the toothpaste used, the substance is absorbed in not inconsiderable amounts by all people in the course of their lives.
On the toxicity of fluoride
The main argument against using fluoride in dental care is its alleged toxicity. The substance - as some self-appointed experts warn - is simply poisonous and therefore causes permanent damage to the body. In fact, fluoride is only toxic in extremely high doses. An adult would have to consume two to three tubes of toothpaste every day to suffer from signs of intoxication. However, it is correct: Consumed in large quantities, the substance can cause unsightly stains on teeth and thus thwart the positive effect - which has been proven to be present.
Effective agent for the prophylaxis of tooth decay
Basically: Fluoride is a highly effective agent for the prophylaxis of tooth decay. The trace element strengthens the bone structure and hardens the tooth enamel. The exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it is believed that the substance, in combination with calcium and phosphate ions, accelerates the remineralization process.
Nevertheless, caution is advised
Despite the proven, positive effect, a certain degree of caution is required when using toothpastes containing fluoride. While the substance has no negative effects on adults, doctors advise against excessive intake in babies and children. On the one hand, the substance is necessary for the formation of healthy bones and teeth, on the other hand, there are two weighty arguments in favor of giving babies and children only in moderation:
- There is evidence that the substance is nerve-damaging for children at high doses
- The trace element can lead to white spots on the teeth (fluorosis)
Fluoride-free toothpastes in the test - insufficient protection against caries
The use of fluoride-free toothpastes - as repeatedly requested by opponents of the trace element - has been shown to have less protection against tooth decay. Fluoride-free toothpastes regularly perform worse in tests than toothpastes that contain the substance. The optimal amount of trace element in toothpaste is at least 0.1 percent (1,000 ppm). A lower fluoride concentration offers insufficient protection against the development and spread of tooth decay.
That is why it is worth brushing your teeth regularly with toothpaste containing fluoride
The number of children and adults suffering from tooth decay has decreased significantly in the last few decades (doubling of caries-free children's dentition between 1997 and 2014). Dental and scientific experts attribute this to two reasons:
- Fluoride added to most toothpastes
- generally more mindfulness with dental care
Julian Jankowski and the Dental Practice Saarland - your partner for dental health
Julian Jankowski and the team at Zahnärzte Saarland will be happy to advise you if you have a question about "Fluoride in Dentistry". We are your friendly and trusted partner for all aspects of dental health.
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