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The benefits and harms of fluoride in toothpaste

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Dental fluoridation and the use of toothpastes containing fluoride compounds in the form of soluble salts are often recommended in children and adults as a prevention of the development of caries. However, this substance is far from harmless to the human body, its overabundance can lead to the development of some pathologies. Because of this, it is impossible to make a definitive judgment about the benefits and harms of fluoride in toothpaste and other dental products without knowing all the facts.

The benefits of fluoride compounds in toothpastes

It has been scientifically proven that fluoride compounds have an anti-carious effect, and this substance also affects the functioning of the entire body.

  1. Fluorine strengthens tooth enamel. In the composition of dental enamel is calcium hydroxyapatite, and the active fluoride ions enter into a bond with it to form fluorapatite. This compound is more resistant to the products of cariesogenic microorganisms.
  2. Fluoride — Natural antiseptic. Its compounds have antibacterial properties
  3. Prevents formation of dental plaque.
  4. Increases the remineralizing effect of saliva. Fluorine has a positive effect on the salivary glands, accelerating significantly the production of saliva. The phosphorus and calcium ions in saliva penetrate the enamel of the teeth and prevent the development of caries.
  5. Fluoride is involved in metabolic processes. Microscopic doses of fluoride have a beneficial effect on metabolism and the general condition of the body. Scientists have proved that dosed consumption of fluoride during pregnancy helps to reduce the depth of the natural cavities (fissures) on the surface of the baby’s teeth, which are the predominant area of caries localization.

However, despite all the positive effects, before using fluoridated toothpaste should consult a doctor, find out the level of fluoride in the water and strictly adhere to all recommendations of a specialist. Do not forget that fluoridation — it is one of the caries prophylaxis methods that should be used with caution.

Fluoride hazards for the human body

An excess of fluoride in the human body can lead to many negative reactions in various systems.

  1. Fluoride has a neurotoxic effect, Particularly pronounced in young children. Its overabundance can cause a speech impairment, significantly reduce the ability to learn foreign languages, mathematics, affect memory.
  2. One reason Changes in the hormonal background is the high fluoride content in the food, water and hygiene products they consume. Fluoride ions accumulate in the tissues of the thyroid gland, which disrupts the synthesis of thyroid hormones and reduce testosterone levels, which can cause many abnormalities, including infertility.
  3. Fluoride overpreservation is the only The cause of the development of fluorosis, which has two forms of manifestation:
  • On the dento-alveolar system side, the disease is manifested by the development of so-called stained tooth enamel;
  • The bone tissue affected by fluorosis becomes brittle as a result of excess mineralization and imbalance between organic and inorganic compounds, such pathology increases the risk of fractures and increases joint mobility.

4. Some scientists adhere to the theory that in high concentrations, fluoride ions are carcinogenic substances.

When choosing oral hygiene products, such as toothpastes with fluoride, we should not forget that every day we ingest a certain amount of this substance from fluoridated water, food cooked with it, fruits and vegetables. In regions with high fluoride levels in the water, it is not recommended to use toothpaste with fluoride for caries prophylaxis.

4 Reasons to Use Fluoride

Fluoride compounds in toothpastes

Toothpaste with fluoride was first manufactured over 100 years ago (in 1914 to be exact) in the United States. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that these toothpastes were perfected and recognized as beneficial. To date, pastes with fluoride are the most common means of brushing teeth.

In its pure form, fluoride – a gaseous substance, so it can only be included in toothpastes in the form of soluble salts – fluorides. At a temperature of about 37 degrees and contact with saliva, this compound breaks down and releases active fluoride ions.

The most common fluoride compounds in toothpastes

Modern toothpastes contain the following fluoride compounds:

  1. Pastes with Sodium monofluorophosphate Ineffective for quick brushing (less than 3 minutes) because the active fluoride ions from this compound are released very slowly.
  2. Sodium fluoride – Dissociates (disintegrates) quickly into ions, so it is more effective.
  3. Olaflur (aminofluoride) – one of the latest developments, after using pastes on its basis a film remains on the tooth enamel, which gives back fluoride ions for a long time.
  4. Aluminum fluoride.
  5. Tin Fluoride.

fluoride compounds

How to protect your body from fluoride exposure when brushing your teeth

In order to ensure that the active fluoride ions do not harm your body, you must follow a few simple rules:

  1. Study the package of toothpaste when you buy it, and note exactly what fluoride compound it contains and in what concentration.
  2. Before using a fluoridated product, it is necessary to Consult a health care professional, Maybe the level of fluoride in the water of the region of residence is sufficient, and such a paste will only bring harm.
  3. You should not use fluoridated paste in children under 6 years of age. At this age, children are not fully skilled at brushing teeth, which can cause them to swallow large amounts of toothpaste.
  4. When planning holidays in other regions it is worth paying attention to the level of natural fluoride in drinking water. If you have normal or elevated levels, you need to stop using fluoride toothpastes for a while.
  5. To minimize the amount of fluoride ingested by brushing your teeth The amount of toothpaste should not exceed the size of a small pea.

In addition to pastes, fluoride is also contained in rinses, special gels, and chewing pads, as well as dental preparations that are used in the professional office setting. So the choice of a caries prophylaxis method should be left to the dentist, and all recommendations should be strictly followed.

Literature on the subject:

Vertuhova M.Л. «The composition and purpose of toothpastes», 2004
Lutskaya I.К. «Effect of fluoride toothpastes on the acid resistance of enamel. —Clinical implantology and dentistry», 1997, № 3
Splieth C.H., Baekken S., Rosin M. «Effectivness of different topical fluoride application in schoolchildren.» – EJPD, 2000, NO. 1(3)
Л.Р.Sarap, E.А. Podzorova, N.В.Terentyeva, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, ASMU, NY, USA. Barnaul «A comparative study of toothpastes containing aminofluoride and sodium fluoride».

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fluoride compounds

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