Should we keep using fluoride

Fluoride in toothpaste: wrongly discredited

Status: 04/10/2018 11:49 a.m. | archive
Fluoride improves the remineralization of the teeth.

For some time now, claims have been spreading on the Internet that toothpastes containing fluoride are harmful. Anti-fluoride opponents warn that fluoride is especially toxic to children. Fluoride is a rat poison and a pesticide. That is why toothpastes that do not contain fluoride are heavily advertised.

Misunderstanding fuels fear

In fact, the fear of toothpaste containing fluoride is based on a misunderstanding, as toxicologists say: Many people confuse fluoride with fluorine. Fluorine is a very aggressive, poisonous gas, but it is only liquid at minus 180 degrees, it eats its way through all materials. But fluorine gas is different from fluoride. Fluoride is the negatively charged ion which, together with sodium, results in a relatively harmless salt. According to dentists, fluoride is safe in the form and dosage used to fight tooth decay. A person weighing 60 kilograms would have to eat 20 tubes of toothpaste a day to reach a critical limit. If you use toothpaste properly and brush your teeth two to three times a day, no negative effects can occur.

Fluoride is the key to success in tooth decay prevention

According to the experts, hardly any substance has been as well researched as the fluoride in toothpaste. Just a few years ago, the renowned Cochrane Collaboration evaluated 71 high-quality clinical studies in a meta-analysis. With clear results: fluorides strengthen tooth enamel and lead to a reduction in tooth decay and caries defects in the long term. Dentists see fluoride as the key to success in tooth decay prevention, because since it has been widely available in the form of toothpaste, tooth decay has been declining worldwide.

This is how fluoride works in toothpaste

Teeth consist of tooth enamel as well as dentin and dental cement. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It consists mainly of calcium and phosphate. The teeth are surrounded by a biofilm (plaque). It contains numerous microorganisms. These bacteria, especially so-called lactobacilli and streptococcal species, break down the carbohydrates from food into acids. These acids damage the tooth because they dissolve calcium and phosphate from the tooth enamel and thus soften it. Fluoride counteracts this. It improves the remineralization of the teeth by helping to build the minerals back into the tooth grid. It hardens the teeth and makes them more resistant to acids. This gives the enamel an intact surface again. In addition, fluoride inhibits bacterial growth.

Hydroxylapatite instead of fluoride?

Karex, a new toothpaste, advertises that it also protects against tooth decay - with hydroxyapatite instead of fluoride. Dentists doubt this will work. There are as yet no studies that show that tooth decay is noticeably reduced when using alternative active ingredients in toothpastes.

There is no evidence whatsoever for the following conspiracy theories, which are currently revolving around fluorides in toothpaste and the effects on tooth decay:

  • The industry or large groups conspired to keep consumers stupid.
  • The pharmaceutical industry wants to keep consumers sick so that they can continue to sell their products.
  • The metal industry has found a cheap way to dump its waste products, which are fluorides.

Consumer advocates can deliver scientific studies against these claims - and conversely, demand evidence from the anti-fluoride counterparts for their statements. In addition, fluorides are not waste products from the metal industry. The consumer advocates have made the experience that strict anti-fluoride opponents are sect-like closed off. Many fluoride doubters can be explained why certain comparisons and scare tactics are not appropriate.

Dental hygiene and low sugar levels are crucial for tooth decay prophylaxis

In addition to thorough dental hygiene with toothpaste containing fluoride and regular check-ups at the dentist's, limiting your sugar intake is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Dentists do not recommend fluoride tablets because they work more in the body than on the teeth.

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Visit | 04/10/2018 | 8:15 pm