Just as important as brushing your teeth twice a day, is brushing with the right toothpaste. For many, that means using a fluoride toothpaste. For one step closer to a healthy and cavity free smile, we at Naked Company strongly believe your teeth will benefit from the proven perks of fluoride.
But, first, some background. There are three main types of fluoride found in toothpastes: stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate. Although stannous fluoride is more effective at reducing the incidence of dental caries and protecting against gingivitis, it leaves surface stains on teeth!
What does fluoride toothpaste do?
Brushing your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay. But how does tooth decay happen? Well, the bacteria in your mouth, particularly Streptococcus mutans like to hang out on your teeth. When you consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria pig out on the sugars and in doing so, produce an acid by-product. The acid attacks enamel on the tooth's surface and with repeat exposure, a hole (cavity) is created.
Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the tooth by helping to rebuild enamel that has been attacked by acid forming bacteria in dental plaque.
A range of toothpastes are available containing different levels of fluoride. The amount of fluoride in the toothpaste can be found on the side of the tube and is measured in parts per million (ppm).
The NHS advises adults to brush twice daily with a toothpaste containing 1,350 – 1,500 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride. Concentrations below 1,000 ppm are not likely to be preventive. The typical strength of regular or family toothpaste is around 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million (ppm). Higher concentrations if needed for therapeutic reasons may be obtained by prescription.
For longer lasting protection throughout the day, it’s best not to rinse your mouth after brushing with a mouthwash or water as it washes away the fluoride.
Is fluoride safe?
Because young infants and young children tend to swallow toothpaste during brushing, there is a concern that fluoride is linked to a variety of health conditions.
The choice of fluoride toothpaste for young children should be balanced against the risk of fluorosis which may occur during tooth development. This disorder is characterised by white streaks on the surface of teeth and in more severe cases, the enamel has a brown discolouration. This risk is only present during tooth development and so it is recommended for children to use a lower strength of fluoride toothpaste than adults. And according to the WHO, the main cause of dental fluorosis is the consumption of groundwater naturally rich in fluoride, particularly in warm climates where water consumption is greater, or where high-fluoride water is used in food preparation or the irrigation of crops.
Dental professionals and expert bodies on fluoride and health recommend for children aged from 2 until 7 years of age to use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste 1000 -1500 ppm. Before the age of 2, tooth brushing with a soft toothbrush and only water should start as soon as the baby’s first tooth appears.
Cruelty Free Toothpaste
In the EU and UK, toothpastes with fluoride levels of 1,500 ppm and under are classified as cosmetic products. For a long time, the beauty and cosmetics industry has unnecessarily tested cosmetic products and ingredients on animals. Thanks to the hard work of many campaigners, animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the UK since 1998. The rest of the EU also implemented this ban in 2009. However, companies outside of the EU do not have to comply with these standards and sadly animal testing is still performed with fluoride toothpaste. We at Naked Company, have been inspired by industry campaigners such as The Body Shop who have been pivotal in campaigning for animal rights. All of our products are vegan friendly and cruelty free. Our mission is to wipe out animal testing in cosmetics for good and to keep our wash bags 100% cruelty-free! We ask our friends living outside the European Union to join us and ethically source their cosmetics and take a stand for animal rights.
If you would like to learn more about the ingredients of Dental Crush toothpaste tablets click here.