Understanding which toothpaste is appropriate for your oral health needs is naturally thought about a lot more as an adult. When brushing teeth as a child, you’re hardly going to understand the properties that a toothbrush contains, such as a fluoride.
There are many kinds of toothpaste available for certain oral health conditions such as tooth cavities and tooth decay, and fluoride has come under the spotlight.
Have you ever wondered whether it’s ok to use fluoride-free toothpaste? To answer this question let’s break down the understanding of fluoride to help you make the right choice.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral property found in water and rocks and helps to protect your tooth surface from acid. Acid is a culprit for tooth decay, which weakens your enamel and opens your teeth to contract bacteria and infection.
Fluoride helps to limit acid and bacteria whilst strengthening your tooth enamel, and it’s been added into toothpaste because fluoride in the environment isn’t enough to maintain a strong smile.
How Does Fluoride Impact My Teeth?
Fluoride helps to keep your tooth enamel strong. Enamel is located at the front surface, designed to protect your teeth from cavities and decay which is formed through acid. Acid is formed from the number of sugars and bacteria you consume. If you consume high volumes of sugar, brushing your teeth daily is more important, as well as regularly visiting the dentist for a check-up.
Strengthening of your tooth enamel is known as remineralization, and demineralization is the process of degrading enamel through acids and sugar. Fluoride can also help to remove dental plaque, a pale sticky substance that coats your teeth with bacteria. This is typically one of the first stages of tooth decay.
Topical fluoride, the type of fluoride added to toothpaste, is a mineral that supports child and adult teeth. For toddlers, their teeth will be protected with fluoride traces from the food and water they consume when they erupt from underneath the gums.
Is Too Much Fluoride Bad For Your Teeth?
Fluoride helps to keep tooth decay at bay, but consuming excess fluoride is counterproductive. If you’re consuming too much fluoride, you’re introducing something called dental fluorosis, where white spots on your tooth surface begin to form. They’re small and hardly noticeable and do not impact dental functioning in any way. Although, it can impact your smiling confidence. Ensure that your child only uses a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing their teeth.
What Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?
Now, you’re probably wondering why you would ever consider fluoride-free toothpaste, however, fluoride-free toothpaste means a toothpaste product that is free of fluoride but contains other mineral sources that have proven beneficial to your teeth, such as baking soda, clay, and charcoal.
Can Fluoride Free Toothpaste Reduce Tooth Decay?
Fluoride-free toothpaste will continue to freshen your breath as fluoride toothpaste would, and it will also dispel any dental plaque build-up, although, there is no evidence to suggest that fluoride-free toothpaste will reduce tooth decay.
Therefore, fluoride-free toothpaste can lead to a higher risk of cavities. This means that your teeth will be unprotected and brushing your teeth with fluoride-free toothpaste won’t be enough.
When Should I Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?
Fluoride-free toothpaste may be considered for your child who’s under the age of 6. Continue to use fluoride-free toothpaste until you’re confident that your child isn’t exposed to high volumes of fluoride.
Ensure the toothpaste is only used when brushing teeth and apply a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush.