Fluoride or not? How much fluoride should be in your toothpaste? Is fluoride good or bad for you?
We know that fluoride has gotten a bad rep over the last decade and there is a lot of confusion in the industry. You may not know what theories to believe in, but here at Ordo we care for your teeth, so we went through all the data and collected some facts you should definitely get yourself familiar with!
Here are 5 things about fluoride you should probably know:
1. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay. In some areas of the world it’s being added to the water supply through a process called fluoridation.
Despite all the negative opinions against fluoride, it turns out that fluorine is a substance that your body actually needs. It is found in many foods that you eat, such as avocados or cucumbers.
While some people argue that benefits of fluoride haven’t been scientifically proven, there are 70 years of research on fluoride which clearly shows that certain amount of fluoride can only do good to your teeth.
2. About 99% of the body’s fluoride is stored in your bones and teeth.
Ok, but what does it mean for me, you may ask? It explains why a healthy level of fluoride in your water and toothpaste is good for you. It helps the enamel remineralisation process that keeps the decay at bay. It also controls the acid in your mouth produced by bacteria on your teeth, fed by the sugars you eat every day.
3. Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among children. Even though it’s preventable, it’s still a massive health issue worldwide.
The level of fluoride in water varies in different areas, thus your fluoride intake depends on the area you live in. Local authorities decide whether fluoride should be added and if so, how much of it. This is done as a measure to help improve oral health, with higher fluoride levels in drinking water found to be associated with lower levels of tooth decay.
It’s worth checking with your local supplier how much fluoride is in your water supply, if you have any concerns. However, fluoride levels in water are constantly monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. (http://www.dwi.gov.uk/).
4. Fluoride helps your dental health by strengthening the tooth’s enamel and making it more resistant to tooth decay.
Throughout the years it has been proven that fluoride in your toothpaste has beneficial effects on your teeth. Direct application of it has shown that it’s actually the most effective way to replace the lost minerals in the tooth’s enamel. Using toothpaste is more effective than drinking fluoridated water!
5. Fluoride can have negative effects on your health only in excessive dosages. If ingested in appropriate amounts, fluoride can be beneficial for you. So what amount of intake is okay?
This one might be slightly more difficult to evaluate, but as far as we know the amount of fluoride is tightly controlled in countries that intentionally add it to drinking water. The risk of fluorosis increases drastically in countries such as China or India.
Studies have shown that there is no direct health risk from fluoride intake. Dental fluorosis can occur, usually when children are still developing. So it’s super important not to exceed doses recommended for children.
What toothpaste you should use as an adult? Well, our dentists (and other dental professionals) recommend toothpaste with 1350-1500 ppm (parts per million) fluoride. Our toothpaste sits in between this recommended range at 1400 ppm fluoride.
Don’t forget to brush twice a day and visit NHS( www.nhs.uk) or Oral Health Foundation for more info. Remember, knowledge is power!