fluoride vs. fluoride free toothpaste – a brusher’s right to choose
we get it: adulting can be hard, and this whole fluoride debate thing isn’t helping. so, we’ve assembled the research to help you decide which tube to call your main squeeze. if you’re feeling swishy-washy, the important thing to realize is that there isn’t a “wrong” choice. we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves though. first, let’s start with the basics.
what exactly is fluoride?
ok, let’s brush up: fluoride is a mineral that’s proven to be effective in preventing tooth decay and the development of cavities. it’s found naturally in some foods and some fresh water sources like lakes and rivers. even some ocean water contains fluoride (yeah, even fluoride loves the beach). because fluoride has been shown to be so effective at fighting cavities, some local municipalities add fluoride to their water supply. Check with your local municipality to find out more.
is fluoride in toothpaste good or bad?
ask your dentist, mom, or 7-year-old niece and they’ll tell you that preventing cavities is one of the primary reasons to maintain good dental hygiene. and when it comes to cavity prevention, fluoride is beneficial in two ways. the first benefit is enamel remineralization, which means that when fluoride is absorbed by the enamel on your teeth, it attracts minerals to your teeth as well, helping to keep them hard. tooth enamel is made up of hydroxyapatite, and the second way fluoride helps out is by converting some of the hydroxyapatite to fluorapatite, which is much more acid resistant and protects against cavities.
the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) “supports the appropriate use of fluorides in dentistry as one of the most successful preventive health measures in the history of health care. Over 50 years of extensive research throughout the world has consistently demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of fluorides in the prevention of dental caries.” so yeah, fluoride is kind of a big deal. (here’s the link to the CDA’s website to learn more).
why use fluoride free toothpaste if you’re an adult?
some people choose to go fluoride free as grown-ups. this is typically due to concerns over the volume of fluoride they are already exposed to. as we mentioned, some municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride, and some feel that the quantities of the mineral they get from their water are enough for them. however, fluoride is most effective against cavities when applied directly to the teeth and may have minimal cavity-prevention effects when swallowed in drinking water. when used as directed, minimizing that amount that is swallowed, fluoride toothpaste is completely safe and effective.
at hello, we respect a brusher’s right to choose. so if fluoride is your bag, we’re down with that, and if you want to go fluoride free, we’re totally down with that too. we’re into oral care, and we’re not into being judgemental (or judgedental—see what we did there?). our fluoride free products provide awesome freshness and cleaning, and help brush away plaque and tartar. hooray.
our tube cents
we weren’t kidding when we said we believe in a brushers right to choose. that’s why we offer our toothpastes in fluoride and fluoride free varieties. if you’d like a personalized assessment of whether you and/or your fam are getting too much or too little fluoride, we’d recommend that you chat with your dentist or pediatrician.