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Have you ever wondered why toothpaste helps to keep our teeth healthy and strong? It’s because it contains fluoride. It helps to prevent tooth decay and fight plaque. In this article, you will find out the usage, pros and cons of fluoride toothpaste.

What is fluoride?

You can find fluoride in water, soil, plants, foods and your bones and teeth. It’s a mineral that occurs naturally. Many cities or countries will add fluoride to the drinking water to reduce tooth decay for their citizens.

Various brands also provide fluoride toothpaste so that customers can use it as an additional layer to prevent dental decay and plaque.

Apart from drinking water, toothpaste. You can also find fluoride in mouth rinses or supplements. If you have severe dental problems, the dentist might suggest you use a prescription mouth rinse that contains a high concentration of fluoride.

Many cities or countries will add fluoride to the drinking water to reduce tooth decay for their citizens. Woman pouring water into glass in kitchen, closeup

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride can protect our teeth against tooth decay.  It’s because when we eat food, the bacteria combine with sugar and carbs in our mouth. As a result, the bacteria produce acids that will weaken tooth enamel.

Fluoride will help to rebuild and strengthen the tooth enamel. It also can make bacteria slow down acid production and hinder the growth of harmful oral bacteria. Therefore, it can prevent cavities and tooth decay.

What are the benefits of fluoride?Fluoride can protect our teeth against tooth decay

Is fluoride safe to use?

The amount of fluoride in the toothpaste is measured in parts per million (ppm).

For children over 7 years old and adults, it’s suggested to use toothpaste containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.

As for children under 6 years old, they should use a toothpaste containing at least 1,000ppm fluoride.

Fluoride in toothpaste with the proper amount is safe under most circumstances.

What are the possible side effects of fluoride?

However, if you consume too much fluoride from toothpaste, water, mouth rinse and food, it might lead to several health problems, for example:

  • acne
  • low IQ
  • diabetes
  • osteoarthritis
  • bone cancer and so on.

Moreover, it may cause dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a condition that will lead to a colour change of the tooth enamel, which manifests as white or brown spots.

Cropped shot of a young woman pointing to white spot on the tooth enamel with a pen.  Dental fluorosis, side effects of fluoride

Children who are under the age of 8 and still forming teeth are more likely to develop dental fluorosis. It’s because they swallow toothpaste most of the time. So, parents need to supervise their children to make sure they spit out the toothpaste.

Another health risk is skeletal fluorosis which causes joint pain and stiffness. People who drink fluoride water have a higher risk of skeletal fluorosis due to excessive amounts and long-term exposure.

Read more tips on how to maintain oral health.

Foods for Healthy Teeth

Foods for Healthy Teeth,  how to maintain oral health

How to prevent tooth decay

How to prevent tooth decay

Shop oral care products in Watsons online.


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