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What is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 April 2018
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Fluoride-free toothpaste is toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. There are many companies that manufacture at least one type of fluoride-free toothpaste to appeal to a market share of folks that either believe fluoride has inherent dangers or that need to use a toothpaste without this variation on the easy to find natural chemical, fluorine. In this second group are many children, since fluoride toothpaste is not recommended for use for children under the age of two, or sometimes under the age of seven, as it may cause tooth discoloration and is potentially poisonous should a whole tube be consumed at once.

The first group of people who would prefer fluoride-free toothpaste can be defined in various ways. There is some concern that excessive exposure to fluoride can cause cancer, though this concern is thought unjustified by most of the mainstream scientific community. Additionally, since many regions add fluoride to the water supply, people feel they don’t need extra fluoride, as would come from toothpaste. In areas where the water is not fluoridated, dentists or doctors often recommend fluoride supplements to children of certain ages, but some parents feel that if a child’s teeth are not showing clear signs of decay, this step is unnecessary.

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For whatever reason, there is certainly a market for fluoride-free toothpaste, and people will be able to find several choices at local grocery and drug stores. Those who tend toward wanting natural products only in their toothpaste may need to search a little farther to find toothpaste that satisfies. For instance, some consumers want their toothpaste to be free of other chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, parabens and artificial dyes or flavors. These consumers might want to shop at natural foods or health food stores for alternatives, though not all products labeled "natural" are free of the above substances; another idea is to brush the teeth with baking soda and salt, though this may prove abrasive on tooth enamel.

While it can make sense to purchase fluoride-free toothpaste for young children, it may not be as sensible to make this choice when people have a significant amount of tooth decay. Especially kids over the age of seven who have dental problems may benefit from fluoridated toothpaste, particular if water in the area does not contain fluoride. This can be a complex matter, though, and parents need to research and discuss the issue with sympathetic doctors and dentists to determine the best decision.

Whichever way parents or the average adult decides, they’re sure to find plenty of choices. Fluoride-free toothpaste might contain many of the features of fluoridated toothpaste. It could have extra ingredients to help soothe sensitive teeth, or it might offer whitening benefits that slightly lighten teeth. With a little shopping, people are sure to discover the brand they like the most.

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