01 Sep Why is Fluoride important in toothpaste?
Toothpaste is the single most important dental care product. The ingredients of it play a huge part in the overall maintenance of dental hygiene. Toothpaste helps in removing the build-up on the teeth after consuming sugar, bacteria that are present in the build-up, and other substances which lead to cavities.
A regular toothpaste that is available in the market has calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate which acts as abrasives and Fluoride. These are two principal ingredients in the toothpaste which protect the teeth from any kind of damage.
Of these two Fluoride is considered to be the most essential one. This write-up deals with why this ingredient is important.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally available mineral. It is found in the air, soil, rocks, plants, etc. This mineral plays a huge role in the development of teeth for children below the age of seven. Hence, this is consumed in various ways and forms.
Many local governmental authorities manually add fluoride to drinking water to ensure better dental health.
Benefits of Flouride
- Flouride is important in developing strong and plaque-resilient teeth during the formative stage for children.
- Flouride reduces the build-up of bacteria and its reaction with enamel on the teeth. This in turn reduces the chances of having a cavity.
- It also helps in the remineralization of the teeth. It rebuilds the eroded enamel on the teeth and reduces the development of cavities. The enamel on teeth is a protective layer on the teeth which keeps cavities at bay.
- Fluoride can also help in reversing early signs of tooth decay and helps in developing healthy and strong teeth.
- It also reduces the growth of harmful bacteria and improves oral health.
Potential Side Effects of Fluoride
Though the mineral is naturally available, an overdose of it can cause various side effects. Many studies state that 0.7 ppm is the maximum amount of fluoride that can be added to water as on 2015.
Here are some side effects of overconsumption of fluoride:
- Dental Fluorosis: This is widely seen in children below the age of 8 while they are still in the formative stage. The symptoms are white spots on the teeth. This does not cause any pain or harm to the child. To avoid this, swallowing toothpaste should be allowed.
- Skeletal Fluorosis: This is a chronic stage of fluorosis, as the mineral gets built up in bones. This causes acute pain and difficulty in moving. This is caused due to high levels of naturally found fluoride in water.
Fluoride, the naturally present mineral, is crucial for having healthy and strong teeth. Many studies have stated that fluoride in toothpaste is important for building plaque and infestation-resistant teeth from the formative stages itself.
However, over dosage can lead to various side effects. To avoid this drinking water needs to be checked and children should be supervised while brushing to stop them from swallowing the toothpaste.