Fluoride has been around for years. You see, it’s not only in toothpaste, but floss, mouth wash, and whitening strips. However, fluoride, the natural mineral found in the Earth’s crust, has recently been seen in a negative way, with people swearing it is toxic for consumption and could potentially damage and discolor teeth.
While others suggest that you should use it at all costs to maintain good dental health, some professionals believe that fluoride protects teeth from losing minerals when the mouth is in an acidic state, and helps fight bacteria. So what is the truth? Is it bad or good for you?
What are the benefits of fluoride?
Fluoride is technically a drug and is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They make sure that over-the-counter toothpaste contains no more than 1,500 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, deemed as a safe range (read: Safe to brush teeth twice a day without having to worry).
Fluoride is said to replenish the lost calcium and phosphate ions that make teeth more protected. Essentially, the fluoride connects with the calcium and phosphate that is already on your teeth to protect it from decay and cavities.
Okay, and what are the side effects?
On the other hand, some consumers believe that fluoride could create dental fluorosis, the permanent streaks or spots on the teeth. According to a couple studies done by dentists, if you ingest too much, it can cause the malformation of the enamel of teeth or promote toxicity. Aka, too much of a good thing is bad.
According to the American Dental Association, the recommended dosage is 0.25 grams, which is the size of a pea or rice grain. Always follow the recommendation to avoid fluorosis or potential toxicity. And of course, when in doubt, consult a specialist.
So is it safe?
Yes. However, like most things, avoid overusing it. And if you start to get worried, you can always alter between fluoride and fluoride-free toothpaste. When selecting the perfect fluoride for you, opt for a formula with nano-hydroxyapatite, xylitol, and an alkaline pH.
The nano-hydroxyapatite acts as a calcium and helps support tooth structure and the enamel surface. All in all, use better judgement when consuming things orally and opt for ingredients that are known to be safe.
More research needs to be done on fluoride to have an overall idea of its safety levels, but again, currently there is nothing that strongly suggests that it is not.
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