Fluoride Free Toothpaste: Why Make the Switch Today?
There have been debates for years about whether or not people should be using fluoride in their toothpaste. More recently, this has become a popular topic, as more and more information unfolds about the possible dangers fluoride can cause. Keep reading to find out our thoughts on fluoride free toothpaste. Who knows, you may choose to switch over to it after this article is over.
What Is Fluoride?
One of the most highly reactive elements to exist, fluorine is the ninth element found on the periodic table. Fluoride is formed through fluorine and is typically paired with sodium, making sodium fluoride. This is what is typically found in toothpaste and other things such as food, water, mouthwash, and some brands of floss.
Many people prefer to use fluoride because it strengthens their teeth and prevents cavities. Although this is true, many don’t realize how harmful this product can be.
Now that you have some background about fluoride and what it is, we will go over some of the dangers of it. If you are currently using fluoride toothpaste, our goal is to give you some insights on why you switch over to fluoride free toothpaste.
The Dangers of Fluoride
It Is Unsafe for Children
Age is a factor that definitely comes into play when deciding whether to use fluoride free toothpaste. Although everyone can benefit from it, we would especially recommend it for young toddlers and children. Consuming too much fluoride can present health risks to children during the early years. When children brush their teeth, it is estimated that they are likely to swallow 25% or more of the toothpaste that they use. This is because they cannot properly spit. Additionally, children’s toothpaste is typically flavored with different tastes, such as bubblegum and watermelon. This is tempting for them to swallow, as they may enjoy the flavor or think that the toothpaste is candy. If children swallow too much fluoride, there can be many health risks. Some of these may include nervous system problems or weakened ligaments and bones.
It Can Lead to Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition caused by too much fluoride use during the first eight years of one’s life. It causes white lines or streaks to form on the teeth, especially when permanent teeth are newly coming in. According to WebMD, “Fluorosis affects nearly one in every four Americans ages 6 to 49.” Although it is not considered a disease, it can lead to psychological distress and can be very hard to treat.
If you notice that your child has streaks or discoloration on their teeth, contact your dentist to see what should be done. The scale of their fluorosis condition could range from questionable to severe. Questionable, meaning that the enamel shows a few occasional white spots, and severe, meaning that all enamel surfaces are affected.
It Can Cause Thyroid and Parathyroid Problems
It is important to realize the powerful effect that iodine has on your thyroid. With iodine being in the same chemical family as fluorine, it is safe to say that fluorine could have similar effects on your thyroid gland. Additionally, excess fluoride can damage the parathyroid gland. This can result in uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormones, as well as lower calcium concentrations in the bones and blood.
We’re Already Being Exposed to It and Don’t Need Any More
Did you know that fluoride naturally occurs in water? Depending on the geographical area, there are some places with more natural fluoride in their drinking water than others. The World Health Organization has noted that drinking water with more than 1.5 ppm fluoride can lead to several different health problems. Not only is this prevalent in the water that we drink, but also in the food that we eat. We are being exposed to fluoride every day without even realizing it. So why would we want to add more to our system when we’re already exposed to enough as it is?
Now that we have the resources available to understand the effects of fluoride, especially on children, we should do our part to limit it as much as possible. One way that we can start is by purposely choosing not to use fluoride toothpaste. Instead, we should opt to use fluoride free toothpaste, as it has fewer health threats and is much safer. What do you think? Are you willing to make the switch?
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