Is the fluoride in toothpaste harmful to health? | health | Essential information for better health | DW


Adding fluoride to toothpastes is the most popular use of this substance, and fluoride works to strengthen the enamel layer in the teeth and replaces the minerals that are lost at the beginning of decay.

Fluoride is a chemical compound that is rarely found in its pure form, but combines immediately with other chemicals. This results in various compounds, including sodium fluoride. Fluoride plays a central role in building and maintaining bones and teeth, according to the German MyLife website, which deals with public health.

The element fluorine also acts in different ways against the bacteria of caries in the oral cavity and the acid that they produce: it accelerates the incorporation of calcium phosphate from saliva into the tooth enamel. This leaves the decaying bacteria less time to increase the lumen of the porous areas of the tooth enamel.

Does fluoride harm teeth?

No, the opposite is true. According to Stefan Zimmer, a dentist specializing in public health: “Fluoride is the main factor in preventing tooth decay” and continues, “There are 300 international clinical studies on fluoride toothpastes alone, which would prove its effectiveness, and Zimmer explains that brushing twice daily with toothpaste Dentures containing fluoride compared to fluoride-free cream prevent tooth decay by more than 30 percent.

Is fluoride toxic?

According to the German “T Online” website, some experts warn against confusing fluoride with fluorine, which is toxic to humans. The words fluoride are similar to fluorine, but there are chemical differences in the structure. Valfluorides are fluorine compounds. Treating it chemically reduces the toxicity of fluorine, explains the National Association of Dentists in Germany.

The association of fluoride with fluorine has made some question its feasibility, and warn of its dangers, while some have called for relying on nature and healthy food to supply fluoride. However, this is not true, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany.

A variant of nature?

In theory, fluoride can be found everywhere in nature – in whole-grain products, nuts, black tea or fish, according to the German website, however, the amount of natural fluorides is not enough for effective prevention of tooth decay.

There should also be no fear of an overdose of fluoride-containing table salt: the fluoride content is so low that a high consumption of salt would be toxic in itself. Unlike many countries, such as the USA, water in Germany and many European homes is not mixed with fluoride. Therefore, the fear of exposing the body to large amounts of fluoride is not out of the question.

The German Dietetic Association’s guideline values ​​for adequate fluoride per day range from 3.1 to 3.8 milligrams for adults and 0.7 to 2.9 milligrams for children 12 months of age and adolescents.

Children and fluoride?

Stefan Zimmer warns that caries can attack the teeth as soon as it appears in the oral cavity. According to him, deciduous teeth are “particularly at risk”. The German Dental Preservation Society has recently recommended higher doses of 500 to 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, especially for deciduous teeth.

For children aged two to six years, experts also recommend a toothpaste containing 1,000 parts per million of fluoride for older children. For adults, up to 1,500 ppm of fluoride can be used without any concerns.



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