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
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 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: