This is probably one of the biggest debates in recent years when it comes to toothpaste, as more fluoride free alternatives are coming into light each year.
It may sound like a problem for the dentists, scientists or researchers to argue about, but this has a direct impact on your health and we at Dentiste' New Zealand think it is important for you to understand more regarding this.
What is Fluoride for?
For a very long time, fluoride has been widely understood to be an important player in fighting cavities; it reduces the demineralisation process, which is the first step to tooth decay. This is why fluoride is added to the toothpaste we grew up using, and the tap water of some countries, including New Zealand.
However, over the years, concerns have been raised about how fluoride can potentially be extremely harmful to our bodies. Most notably, The Lancet, a reputable medical journal, classified fluoride as a neurotoxin in 2014.
Research and Studies
Did you know that 52 out of 59 studies that investigated the relationship between fluoride and human intelligence found that the former is indeed related to reduced IQ? This phenomenon is more clearly apparent in a child's developing brain, as confirmed by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and China Medical University.
More terrifyingly, it is also known that the human placenta does not prevent the fluoride in a pregnant mother's bloodstream from passing to the foetus. A study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives has shown that high fluoride levels during pregnancy may lower the IQ of the child after birth.
The prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies of Science from the U.S. has also identified that fluoride has a number of detrimental health effects, including that on teeth, bones, brain, endocrine system, thyroid etc. The fluoride safety standard was thus recommended to be reduced.
Is Fluoride Really Necessary?
Now, we are all familiar with the benefits of fluoride. But with so many studies surrounding and supporting the negative effects of fluoride, it is time to ask ourselves the question: is fluoride really necessary?
Our answer is no. This is because fluoride is not indispensable when it comes to oral care. Studies have found that xylitol, a natural sugar, is highly effective in reducing plaque and preventing tooth decay! It is not only a replacement, but a better alternative. While fluoride promotes tooth repair after the damage has been done, xylitol prevents that damage in the very first place.
So what's stopping you from making the switch from a fluoride toothpaste to a fluoride free one?
Try Dentiste' Nighttime Toothpaste - a fluoride free oral care solution!