Our water is normally fluoridated and fluoride is contained within many toothpastes.
There has been much discussion recently about the dangers of fluoride.
However, the NHS says that fluoride actually protects teeth in the following way: "Fluoride disrupts the process of tooth decay by: changing the structure of developing enamel, making it more resistant to acid attack - these structural changes occur if a child consumes fluoride during the period when enamel develops (mainly up to seven years of age) encouraging better quality enamel to form that is more resistant to acid attack reducing plaque bacteria’s ability to produce acid, which is the cause of tooth decay". (See www.nhs.uk/conditions/Fluoride/Pages/Introduction.aspx) They provide a link to the benefits of fluoridation on the British Flouridation Society website here: http://www.bfsweb.org/facts/dental_benefits/facts_.htm
In contrast the website http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/ quotes research papers that show that
"fluoride is not an essential nutrient. No disease, not even tooth decay, is caused by a 'fluoride deficiency.'(NRC 1993; Institute of Medicine 1997, NRC 2006). Not a single biological process has been shown to require fluoride. On the contrary there is extensive evidence that fluoride can interfere with many important biological processes. Fluoride interferes with numerous enzymes (Waldbott 1978). In combination with aluminum, fluoride interferes with G-proteins (Bigay 1985, 1987). Such interactions give aluminum-fluoride complexes the potential to interfere with signals from growth factors, hormones and neurotransmitters (Strunecka & Patocka 1999; Li 2003). More and more studies indicate that fluoride can interfere with biochemistry in fundamental ways (Barbier 2010)."
So, are you willing to take the risk? I have decided no, with my children and myself, and have therefore been looking for fluoride free alternatives. Here are the ones I tried:
Green People Toothpaste
£3.50 for 50ml
Comes in fennel, mint, minty cool, or citrus and aloe vera flavours and is fluoride and SLS-free, and free from artificial sweeteners. Formulated with organic essential oils, Vitamin C and Myrrh, they offer natural protection against bacterial growth, one of the main causes of gum disease. Green People's natural toothpastes contain soothing ingredients that are gentle on sensitive gums.
£3.50 for 50ml
Come in two flavours: mandarin and aloe vera or mint and aloe vera. These certified organic toothpaste for children are gentle enough to be used on babies' gums even before their first tooth emerges to reduce the discomfort of teething.
When you are used to using a foaming toothpaste which leaves your teeth feeling tinglingly clean, this toothpaste is quite hard to get used to because it is very sticky and doesn't lather up in your mouth like regular toothpaste. I used mint flavour but also couldn't really taste the mint. My 22 month old loves the fruity kids paste though, and it has really helped to get her to brush her teeth which she didn't before, and with no worries about her swallowing something poisonous. It seems to work well too. After a week my teeth still felt clean.
Greenpeople products are also 100% cruelty free and not tested on animals, and most pastes are fully vegan like me.
£3.95 for 100ml
available from www.beautynaturals.com or selected supermarkets
AloeDent's range is fluoride and SLS free dental care. Aloe Vera alongside Tea Tree Oil helps in the fight against bacteria. The triple action formula toothpaste contains:
- Aloe Vera - helps soothe gums
- Tea Tree Oil - natural antiseptic
- Silica - for natural whitening
- Co Q10 - helps keep gums healthy
- Peppermint & Menthol - natural flavour.
This paste lathers up like a normal toothpaste, and has a pleasant taste. It is a clear gel and I tend to use quite a lot to clean my whole mouth. I notice that sometimes my teeth don't feel as 'clean' as they used to with regular toothpaste, maybe a little furry?
Forever Bright® Toothgel
£5.75 for 130g
This is a non-fluoride formula, that contains aloe vera and bee propolis. It is designed to nourish, strengthen and protect teeth and gums whilst fighting plaque and whitening without bleaching agents. It has a mint flavour.
This is nice to use as it lathers up and makes teeth feel very clean and breath feel fresh and minty, with the reassurance that it is fluoride free. However, it does contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which is a negative point (for more info on possible effects of SLS see this informative article: (www.greenpeople.co.uk/info_features_sls.aspx )
£5.69 for 500ml
from Holland and Barrett www.hollandandbarrett.com
This mouthwash combines the soothing properties of Organic Aloe Vera with Icelandic moss, Tea tree and Grapefruit and Gotu Kola with a mint flavour for fresh breath.
This mouthwash has a very strong taste but it does the job without fluoride, alcohol and other nasty chemicals.