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Dental care: toothpaste with or without fluoride

Dental care: toothpaste with or without fluoride

To make the difference in dental care are first and foremost the toothbrush and dental floss. The toothpaste is aimed at the aesthetic and health maintenance and cleaning of the teeth: it can be a good adjuvant to remove plaque, reduce the predisposition to tooth decay and to make the brushing action more pleasant, also encouraging children to oral care. Generally it can be found in the form of gel or pasta.

Fluoride Toothpaste: what the Italian Ministry of Health says

According the guidelines of the Italian Ministry of Health: "for adults it is preferable to have a toothpaste that contains between 1000 and 1500 ppm of fluoride, while for children from 3 to 6 years old the adequate content should not exceed 500 ppm. toothpaste with fluoride is a primary means of administration in the prevention of caries (Garrison et al., 2007; Walsh et al., 2010; Wong et al., 2011; Tubert-Jeannin et al., 2011). Under 3 years old it is preferable not to use fluoridated toothpastes ".

Two necessary clarifications: on fluoride toothpaste label for children between 3 and 6 years is specified that it should be taken under supervision of an adult who checks that it is not swallowed. Under 3 years of age, it is not recommended because not knowing how to effectively control the swallowing reflex, they tend to accidentally ingest part of the toothpaste, with consequent systemic absorption. Excessive and long-lasting fluoride intake (fluoridated water, toothpaste, fluorinated supplements, formula milk) during pediatric age can cause dental fluorosis, a pathology manifested by enamel stains (Ismail & Asson, 2008; Hujoel et al., 2009; Wong et al., 2010; Berg et al., 2011; Buzalaf & Levy, 2011; Lee & Brearley Messer, 2011; Chou et al., 2013).

Fluoride Toothpaste: differences of opinion

For many years the use of fluoride in caries prevention has been criticized by many parties until being considered useless if not harmful. In Italy some critics have collected their studies and their research in books, such as Lorenzo Acerra "Fluoro. Danger for teeth, poison for the organism", 2003 and Dr. Giorgio Petrucci, doctor of chemistry and teacher " The dangers of fluoride: Toccasana or industrial waste? " (2004), E. L. Iorio in "The physiological oxygen modulation on demand. The last challenge of nutraceuticals" (2015).

"Other than preventing tooth decay, the intake of fluoride, a byproduct of the nuclear industry (whose disposal would be too expensive ...), seems to be a serious health risk" critics say. Fluorine is an extremely toxic substance at exceptionally low doses and it is not possible to control the daily intake of fluoride (which depends on: food and beverage intake of the food industry, pesticide residues in food, type of mineral water chosen) , used mouthwash, drinking water, drugs, chewing gum, etc.) and when you brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride, although in very small quantities, is still swallowed every day. Also for these reasons, they consider the use of fluorine based supplements absolutely inadvisable, also because, absorbed by mouth, fluoride enters the tooth through the blood and alters the structure of the tooth itself, thus favoring dental fluorosis.

Certain systemic effects of fluoride documented and risks

The fluoride ion is very similar to metals such as: calcium, magnesium, manganese and therefore it follows that it is a very active inhibitor towards the enzymatic systems that contain these elements. For example: fluoride has an inhibitory effect on the thyroid gland both due to antagonism on the iodine, necessary for thyroid hormones, and for the action on thyroid metabolism linked to calcium. Likewise the action of magnesium in energy production and of manganese, essential for sexual activity, is altered. The fluoride ion has a remarkable affinity also for aluminum and aluminum and is associated with Alzheimer's disease and its presence in the brain is considered a triggering factor (Wurtman, 1985). Aluminum, introduced into our body through drinking water, drugs, foods, vaccines, etc., and an element very similar to fluoride, together with it creates soluble complexes which are then absorbed by the body (Wilhelm et al., 1996) : in this way aluminum can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (Varner et al 1998).

The fluoride ion inhibits glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, a fundamental enzyme for the detoxification of reactive peroxidant species such as hydrogen peroxide and other radicals deriving from drugs (eg sulfonamides, antimalarials); moreover, the fluoride ion, interacting with the hydrogen bonds of the amino acids of the protein structures and with those present between the nucleotides, is a potential mutagenic agent (Nieuwkoop et al., 2005).

According to research by the NCR (National Research Council), there are risks to the brain (already 1 ppm of fluorine can produce learning deficiencies and concentration difficulties in children) and for the thyroid (already 0.01 - 0.03 mg of fluorine per Kg per day can reduce thyroid function in people with low iodine, this reduction can lead to a decrease in mental acuity, depression and body weight gain). Fluorine is risky for bones as it reduces their resistance and exposes them to fractures (for now the only data available concerns doses over 1.5 ppm) and not only: animal and human studies, including studies by Harvard University have established with certainty the connection between fluoride and bone cancer (osteosarcoma). See also the report prepared by the National Toxicology Program.

A natural fluoride free toothpaste: an alternative to the toothpaste on the market

We believe it is right to give a possible alternative to the fluoride toothpaste that abound so much in commerce, for a wider choice. A fluoride free toothpaste, based on natural extracts has recently been produced in Italy that perform their action in a delicate and non-aggressive way, organic aloe vera juice (there are many studies in favor of the benefits of aloe gel in dentistry) and backing soda to protect the gums and prevent the onset of gum inflammation and tooth decay; the mint extract purifies and deodorises the breath. It is a baby toothpaste, kids toothpaste but also adult toothpaste.

Why the choice of baking soda? According to the article published in Jada, backing soda toothpaste is a good candidate to be considered suitable to recommend to patients without particular dentals / gingival problems and useful for removing dental plaque. ("Effect of baking soda in toothpaste on plaque removal", Srinivas R. Myneni, JADA 148 (11 suppl) Nov 2017). Sodium bicarbonate has been shown to have mechanical efficacy in the removal of bacterial plaque (Thong, 2011); a chemical-biological action given by its basicity is able to quickly buffer the post-prandial acidity (if used immediately after a meal) bringing the oral pH back to normal in a short time, thus reducing the risk of caries (Dawes 1996); an antimicrobial activity: Drake et al. compared the antimicrobial activity of a toothpaste containing bicarbonate and 2 fluoridated dentifrices without sodium bicarbonate (Colgate - Pamolive and Crest, Procter & Gamble) and the calculation of the bacterial dosage revealed that Streptococcus mutans is more sensitive to bicarbonate toothpastes compared to fluorinated toothpastes not containing bicarbonate.

This natural toothpaste in gel, with a fresh taste, contains natural cleaning particles that help the toothbrush gently remove plaque, without damaging tooth enamel, with a slight whitening effect. It is a no sls toothpaste: It does not contained Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a component often inserted in toothpaste because this ingredient is not indicated for gums, especially if they are delicate, as it is too aggressive for the oral cavity. Find it here. You can also combine it with our Propolsan natural mouthwash, we talked about it in this post.

If you prefer fluoride toothpaste, remember to take the necessary precautions for you and your children: avoid ingestion, even minimal.

Dr. Laura Comollo

Visit our phytocosmetics department or contact us for any clarifications or for more information.