Our digestion system starts from our mouth, and our teeth play the most crucial role. During food intake, teeth break the food into several pieces, and then saliva mixes into it for digestion. So teeth are one of the essential parts of our body. Dental hygiene should be a priority for everyone.
There is a controversy about which toothpaste is best for Dental Health and why fluoride creates such a controversy.
Generally, Dentists recommend using toothpaste containing fluoride. There are lots of reasons behind it. Fluoride is a naturally found mineral on the earth. Fluoride minerals are present in our bones and teeth. A small amount of fluoride in toothpaste is beneficial for dental health. It aids in the prevention of cavities in our teeth.
Uses of Fluoride
- The function of saliva is to keep the mouth moistened from dry mouth problems because it helps in swallowing food. However, saliva neutralizes harmful acids growing on the teeth and defends against tooth decay and gum diseases. Fluoride plays an essential role in saliva secretion and pH level balancing of saliva. Calcium and phosphate loss occurs naturally when we chew the food, resulting in a demineralizing process. So that the saliva initiates the re-mineralization process. Saliva can do all this due to fluoride because fluoride plays a crucial role in the secretion of saliva.
- Fluoride toothpaste lowers the higher risk of tooth decay. Fluoride gives strength to the enamel layer present in our teeth. Enamel is an outer layer on our teeth that protects the dentine, i.e., the inner layer. If the dentine layer is exposed, the tooth becomes brittle. That’s why fluoride plays a vital role in the protection of enamel. It also prevents the growth of harmful oral bacteria.
- Fluoride remineralize the tooth enamel and slows down the loss of enamel. You can also rinse your mouth with fluoride gel or mouthwash by taking the advice of a Dentist.
- Professional Fluoride treatments
Dentists apply fluoride directly to teeth that have weakened enamel. The fluoride used in the treatments are in the form of gel, varnish, foam, or solution. Fluoride treatments are quicker than any other treatment. Two to three minutes are all it takes.
Disadvantages of Fluoride
Due to excessive use of fluoride, fluorosis may occur, but fluorosis is not harmful. Fluorosis is the patches or stains on the teeth. The patches or spots may be white or brown. It occurs only in children under eight years of age. So you can restrain them from consuming excessive fluoride toothpaste until age 8. Children under six years should not rinse their mouths with fluoride mouthwash. It may cause tooth decay.
2. High doses of fluoride cause:
- Children can cause gastrointestinal issues which impacts on brain development.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Periostitis (inflammation of bones surrounded tissues)
- Skeletal fluorosis (rarely)
Natural or Herbal Toothpaste :
Natural or herbal toothpaste does not contain fluoride. Still, they are as fruitful as toothpaste that contains fluoride. They give a fresh feeling and control as many oral health problems as fluoride toothpaste can. Herbal toothpaste also helps to control plaque and bacteria in our mouths.
Besides that, The Australian Dental Association (ADA) says that herbal toothpaste cannot strengthen teeth as only fluoride can.
As you consider shifting your focus from fluoride to non-fluoride or herbal toothpaste, take your Dentist’s advice first. Fluoride deficiency may take you to the risk of demineralizing your teeth, i.e., loss of sodium and phosphate, and remineralization is impossible without fluoride.
Moreover, dental decay may pose a significant danger if your child is under six and his teeth are still forming.
You don’t necessarily need toothpaste to remove plaque from your teeth. The mechanical action between your teeth and toothbrush bristles is responsible for decaying teeth. So you should brush your teeth for only 2 minutes. Also, the main reason to use toothpaste is the presence of fluoride in it because it is a tooth anti-decaying agent. Otherwise, if you don’t want to use chemical toothpaste, you can use herbals like neem and babool twigs for cleaning teeth.
While both chemical and herbal toothpaste have an antibacterial effect, the antimicrobial impact of herbal toothpaste is lessened in comparison to chemical toothpaste due to its lower concentration. A limited amount of fluoride consumption is good for our dental health,but excessive amounts are not helpful.
Before deciding to use any toothpaste, ask your Dentist first so that they can justify your risk factors according to your dental health.