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Fluoride or Fluoride Free Toothpaste


By Joshua Ng (Pharmacist, Caring Pharmacy) | Malaysia | Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:32pm

FLUORIDE OR FLUORIDE FREE TOOTHPASTE

Fluoride-free toothpaste is now becoming a trend in Malaysia. These toothpaste brands come from Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Many might wonder what’s the deal with fluoride-free versus fluoride toothpaste.  This article surmises the debate out there when choosing between fluoride and fluoride-free toothpaste.

The Debate
Choose Fluoride Toothpaste
  • Fluoride is clinically proven to strengthen tooth enamel1, 2
  • Reduce tooth decay and cavities significantly since its discovery1
  • Safe in small amounts when used topically2
  • Cases of toxicity are very rare2
  • European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (EAPD) recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste to everyone including pregnant women and children2
  • Ministry of Health Malaysia recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste for brushing teeth3
Choose Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
  • Fear of overexposure to fluoride - Tap water in Malaysia has already a fluoride concentration of 0.4 – 0.6mg/L.4
  • Overexposure to fluoride may lead to dental fluorosis (a form of enamel deformation)2
  • Overdose of fluoride associated with toxicity symptoms ranging from nausea, weakness to even muscle paralysis2
  •  Fluoride free toothpaste such as “Red Seal” contain no artificial colors, harsh chemicals and are all natural ingredients and therefore very safe
Take away message
  • Consider rather the needs of yourself and your family before choosing, i.e. teeth whitening, gum care, kids’ toothpaste, sensitive teeth and chemical free.
  • Avoid the following preservative ingredients in toothpaste: Triclosan5 and parabens6
  •  For children, try to avoid fluoride toothpaste as they have a habit of swallowing toothpaste
  •  Choose a high quality product that is also safe as you’re putting it into your mouth about 700 times a year 

References:
1. Weighing your toothpaste options. (Access July 2018) Web link: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/weighing-your-toothpaste-options#1
2. Fluoride: A review of use and effects on health. D Kanduti, P Sterbenk and B Artnik. (2016). Mater Sociomed.
3. Oral Health Program. (MOH) (Access July 2018). Web link: http://ohd.moh.gov.my/v3/index.php/en/faq/oral-health-faqs12
4. Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS). Consumer FAQ. Q9. (Accessed July 2018) Web link: https://www.syabas.com.my/consumer/frequently-asked-questions-faqs#q9
5. 5 Things to know about Triclosan. US FDA (updated Sept 2017). Web link: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm205999.htm
6. Toothpaste ingredients: what’s safe and what isn’t. Electric Teeth (Updated May 2017). Web link: https://www.electricteeth.co.uk/toothpaste-ingredients/#parabens

 

 






 

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