Fluoridated toothpaste is a type of toothpaste that contains fluoride, which is a mineral that the majority of dentists claim is effective in preventing tooth decay. Almost all toothpaste contains fluoride, although many brands do offer fluoride-free toothpaste for people who would prefer to do without it. When food is left on the teeth, bacteria can thrive inside the mouth. Almost all types of toothpaste are helpful for eliminating this bacteria when brushing is done correctly, but fluoridated toothpaste may be the most effective at killing the bacteria. Research suggests that the number of people with tooth decay has declined considerably since the addition of fluoride in toothpaste became common practice.
There are some people who are concerned about the addition of fluoride in toothpaste because too much fluoride could be toxic, and these people may prefer to purchase fluoride-free toothpaste. Dentists claim that the amount of fluoride that most toothpaste contains is minute enough that there is no cause for concern. Additionally, it doesn't take a lot of fluoride to benefit the teeth, so consuming excess amounts of it is not necessary. Caution should be exercised when using fluoridated toothpaste on children less than six because it doesn't take as much fluoride to harm a child as it would an adult. It may be best to use fluoride-free toothpaste on very young children, and many brands of children's toothpaste contain no fluoride at all.
Some people believe that they do not need fluoridated toothpaste because their drinking water contains fluoride, but most dentists state otherwise. While it is true that the majority of public water does contain fluoride that is probably beneficial to the teeth, it is still likely a good idea to use fluoridated toothpaste in addition to drinking water that contains it. Relying on drinking water alone to get the benefit of fluoride for the teeth is probably not enough because the fluoride is incredibly diluted throughout the majority of water supplies.
Regardless of whether a person chooses to purchase fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride-free toothpaste, it is important never to swallow toothpaste. Most types of toothpastes contain detergents, artificial flavorings, and other ingredients that are not meant to be consumed. It is generally inevitable that some toothpaste will be swallowed no matter how hard a person tries to avoid it, but it is best to keep the amount swallowed to a minimum. Children who are just learning to brush their teeth should always have an adult supervise the brushing routine to be sure that they do not swallow their toothpaste.