Unsure whether to use a fluoride or a fluoride-free toothpaste? Here we explore the fears and facts about fluoride so that you can choose a natural toothpaste formula that best suits your oral health needs.
WHAT IS FLUORIDE?
Fluoride is a mineral which is commonly added to toothpastes and water supplies. With effective toothbrushing, fluoride has been found to help prevent the incidence of tooth decay by promoting remineralisation of teeth and reducing the amount of acid that bacteria in the mouth producei.
IS IT SAFE TO USE A FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE?
Fluoride toothpastes are recommended by the British Dental Association and are widely considered safe to use. This being said, it is important to note that exposure to too much fluoride can cause fluorosis to develop. A common condition, fluorosis leaves teeth with discoloured, mottled marks which are often irreversible.
Another concern about fluoride is that, if too much is ingested, it can aggravate the digestive system. For this reason, it is important that you spit out any excess toothpaste left in the mouth after brushing your teeth.
WHY USE FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE?
Unsure of the benefits of using a fluoride toothpaste? Many UK dentist recommend brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to reduce the risk of dental decay.
This view is shared by the Oral Health Foundation, a charity that advocates better oral health for all. With incidences of childhood tooth decay rising, they recommend that all children brush their teeth with a toothpaste containing at least 1000ppm fluoride.
DO GREEN PEOPLE TOOTHPASTES CONTAIN FLUORIDE?
Green People produces a range of toothpaste that is made with natural active ingredients and designed to support healthy teeth and gums.
Whilst most Green People toothpastes are fluoride-free, we recognise that some of our customers have specific oral health concerns that mean that they prefer to use a fluoride-based toothpaste. For this reason we offer two variants of our Organic Children Mandarin & Aloe Vera toothpaste, one made with fluoride, and one that is fluoride-free.
Harsh chemical toothpaste ingredients such as Triclosan and SLS can aggravate gums and have been linked to mouth ulcers and, for this reason, we do not add these ingredients to either our fluoride or fluoride-free toothpastes. Instead, our toothpastes all contain plant actives such as Aloe Vera and Myrrh oil which have a soothing and antiseptic effect on the mouth.
When formulating our fluoride toothpaste, we discovered that fluoride is incredibly bitter to taste. Whilst some brands overcome this by using artificial sweeteners in their formulations Green People refuses to use artificial ingredients in any of our products. Instead we formulated our fluoride toothpaste with a totally natural, certified organic, plant-based sweetener called Stevia.
Worried about fluoride? When brushing the gums and teeth of infants, it can be difficult to assess how much fluoride they are being exposed to and whether they have swallowed any toothpaste. To help you brush with care we’ve shared our top tips for safely brushing with fluoride.
HOW TO USE FLUORIDE SAFELY
- Always use an age appropriate toothpaste. Young infants should be exposed to no more than 1000ppm fluoride. For children aged 3 and over it is safe to brush with toothpaste containing as much as 1500ppm fluoride.
- Supervise at all times to help minimise their risk of swallowing toothpaste.
- To further minimise the risk of a child swallowing fluoride, only apply a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. As a rough guide, many dentists recommend using no more than a pea-sized amount.
- Spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing but do not rinse the teeth with water. Doing so will wash off any fluoride and could mean that your teeth are not exposed to the amount of fluoride indicated on the toothpaste tube.
- Brush twice a day. When using a fluoride toothpaste try not to brush straight after eating as there may still be food acids in the mouth which may damage enamel when brushed over the teethii.
Do you use a fluoride or fluoride-free toothpaste? Join the conversation at @GreenPeopleUK or by commenting in the section below.