Next to “what does it taste like” this is probably the 2nd most popular question we answer about Tooth Suds. No, Tooth Suds does not contain fluoride, but that’s OK! If you need fluoride and yet want to be natural and zero waste with your oral care, Tooth Suds will still work for you – you don’t have to get fluoride from your toothpaste! Many people do not need fluoridated toothpaste (fluoride is common in our daily diets).
What the heck is Fluoride anyway?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, and has been proven effective in fighting tooth decay and development of cavities. It is a base mineral on the periodic chart, F for fluorine, NaF is sodium fluoride; this is what helps our teeth, is added to our water, etc.
Throughout the day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost through demineralization when acids formed from sugars and plaque bacteria in the mouth attack the enamel. Minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and water consumed. If you have more demineralization than remineralization, it can cause tooth decay.
Fluoride helps make teeth more resistant to acid attacks from sugars and plaque bacteria in the mouth which prevents tooth decay and it also reverses early decay. You may be getting enough naturally and may not need it in your toothpaste.
What are the sources of Fluoride outside of toothpaste?
Fluoride dissolves into the groundwater that we draw on for our drinking water, just like iron and calcium. When there is not enough fluoride in the water, local operators add just enough to ensure the perfect level to protect our teeth. The fluoride is pulled from natural calcium deposits in phosphate rock and then purified. And just like iron and calcium, we benefit from minerals that have countless additional applications throughout our lives.
Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first community to start adding fluoride to their water supply in 1945 to prevent tooth decay. Fluoridation became an official policy of the U.S. Public Health Service by 1951. If you want to know how much fluoride is in your water supply, contact your dental professional. If your water does not contain fluoride, your dentist may prescribe fluoride tablets or drops to help protect your teeth from cavities.
- Fluoride is found naturally in some fresh water sources like lakes and rivers, and even some ocean water contains fluoride.
- Fluoride is found naturally in some foods, such as spinach, avocados, potatoes, grapes, raisins, and wines. However, these are very low levels of fluoride and may not be enough on their own.
- Fluoride is also found in some supplements, and even low cost versions of green, oolong, black, and jasmine tea. There is also fluoridated bottled water available.
Another source is Fluoride Mouthwash, which is very effective in the control of dental decay especially in those that are wearing orthodontics. These are also popular with teenagers and young adults who are more prone to frequent snacking on sweets and drinking acidic or sweet drinks between meals. Fluoride mouthwash is not recommended for children under 6 years old.
Should everyone use Fluoride toothpaste?
If a person’s teeth are naturally resistant, meaning their teeth already have high fluoride content, they may not need fluoride toothpaste. Or, they may be getting enough fluoride from their water, food, or mouthwash. It is very important to visit your dentist regularly so this can be monitored.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that children under 6 are monitored closely for their fluoride intake due to those years being important for tooth development. Overuse of fluoride at this point can result in enamel fluorosis, which is a developmental condition where the tooth enamel appears as white lines or spots on the teeth. Children under 6 should use only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. If you live in a community where the natural fluoride levels are high in your water, you may not want to use fluoridated toothpaste at all for your children under 6.
Additional Resources on Fluoride: