What role does fluoride play in dental health?
Fluoride plays an important role in the body, especially for teeth and bones. When dosed correctly, the trace element supports their strength. Fluoride also strengthens tooth enamel and thereby counteracts the development of tooth decay. However, fluoride can be overdosed, which can turn the positive aspects into the opposite and cause health problems. In this article we would like to explain how fluoride works in the body, whether fluoride is dangerous and whether a toothpaste with or without fluoride is the best choice.
What is fluoride good for?
Fluoride has several advantages when it comes to dental health. They support remineralization and are deposited in the gums in order to provide immediate support in the event of renewed demineralization due to acid. Fluoride helps to neutralize acid by creating a protective film on the tooth before it can attack the tooth enamel. The acid production itself is also inhibited by fluorides by penetrating the bacteria and disrupting their metabolism. In a moderate dosage, fluoride plays a crucial role in the fight against tooth decay.
In high doses, fluoride is actually toxic. In such a case, the body reacts with typical symptoms of poisoning such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. However, fluoride poisoning is very rare. White lines or whitish areas on the teeth are more common. These are signs of a mild but harmless fluoride overdose, which often occurs in children, even without additional fluoride intake. Nevertheless, if there are signs of an excess of fluoride, it is advisable to monitor the fluoride intake and reduce it if possible, as a long-term excess of fluoride can reverse its positive properties. The strengthening effect can cause the bones and teeth to harden too much over time, so that bones become brittle and teeth become susceptible to tooth decay again. However, an undersupply should also be avoided, as a lack of fluoride promotes the development of tooth decay.
How much fluoride per day is recommended?
For adults, the reference value of fluoride intake per day is 3.8 mg for men and 3.1 mg for women. Fluoride should be handled very carefully, especially in children. It is important to use special children's toothpaste that contains less fluoride than fluoride toothpaste for adults. The toothpaste for children should be easily dosed so that excessive amounts are not accidentally used for brushing. Swallowing the toothpaste should be avoided. However, an adequate supply of fluoride is particularly important for babies and children so that teeth and bones can develop well. For example, WOOM Kids toothpastes offer children's toothpaste with an appropriate fluoride content. If your child gets a sufficient amount of fluoride from other sources, they should use a fluoride-free toothpaste.
Should I use a fluoride-free toothpaste?
Fluorides can have important benefits for healthy teeth and bones, but in the worst case, health problems and even poisoning are possible. It is therefore not surprising that the trace element is viewed critically. The respective effects depend heavily on the dosage. However, poisoning with fluoride, so-called fluorosis, is very unlikely in Germany. The risk of overdose is mainly present in regions where drinking water is enriched with fluoride. Fluoride is generally considered to be the best way to prevent tooth decay, so avoiding fluoride in toothpaste should be carefully considered. For example, a toothpaste with a fluoride content of 1000 ppm offers the SPLAT White Plus toothpaste. If you still want to use a fluoride-free toothpaste, you will now find numerous alternatives such as SPLAT Blackwood or the Daun Sirih toothpaste.
It is clear that fluoride plays an important role in fighting tooth decay and contributing to healthy bones and teeth. Nevertheless, the consequences of a long-term overdose of fluoride should not be underestimated. Ultimately, the quantity is crucial, which is why you should be careful not to get too many sources of fluoride, especially for children. For example, if your child is given fluoride tablets, a toothpaste without fluoride should be used to avoid an overdose.