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Toothpaste without Fluoride – Is it Better or Worse?

By Dave / December 15, 2007

Question:

Jean wrote:

David,

Due to my recent awareness of fluoride dangers, I have found a toothpaste that is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free and Fluoride free.

The ingredients are Calcium,Zinc, Magnesium & Silica with herbal extracts oils of aniseed, basil,eucalyptus, clove buds, liquorice, peppermint, rose, rosemary & thyme.

As I am aware that all things natural are not necessarily good for you, I wondered if you think these ingredients would be safe to use.

The tooth paste is pleasant and does not burn my mouth like other toothpaste does.

 

My Reply:

Hi Jean,

Thanks for writing in with your question.

Going without fluoride in water is one thing, but avoiding it in your toothpaste, where you spit it out, could be another.

I’m aware that there is much debate around the use and non-use of fluoride. I’m not taking sides on the debate. I’m just pointing out that there are pros and cons to consider. For example: A friend hasn’t used a flouride toothpaste for years, but she had lots of cavities the last time she went in. She hasn’t had the benefit of reading my book, unfortunately for her. (that should be remedied when the print version of my book comes out)

I worry about the effects of not having small amounts of fluoride in toothpaste because your teeth can become softer and weaker as a result and you could be more susceptible to cavities that way. However, I found a study in the dental literature that suggests that eating hard cheese can also help to remineralize your teeth. How much and to what degree is uncertain.

The type of bacteria that populate your mouth is another factor that few discuss. With less ‘bad’ bacteria, there may be less to defend against.

There are also different kinds of fluoride. Sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, etc.

You’ll have to make your own choices under the guidance of your dentist or periodontist because I cannot provide you with advice on this matter. I hope that there will be a decision made some day about the use of fluoride, but the powers that are being obstintate and blocking everything are firmly entrenched. Debate has yet to be meaningful under the current situation. It is much the same with mercury amalgams which are still being used widely.

In regards to the safety of the herbs you mentioned: Peppermint seems to be a common choice for alternative toothpastes. I don’t know that there would be any problems with the small quantities of the other herbs you mentioned, either.

One way to be safe about it would be to take the whole tube of toothpaste with you to your local pharmacist. Ask her to take a look at it and see if she sees any hidden dangers. That way you can have the opinion of someone who is has made a study of chemicals, their interaction between each other and the human body.

The best part: they won’t charge you anything.

Since your toothpaste contains Rosemary and Thyme, I’d be willing to bet that Simon and Garfunkel will approve.

Thanks for writing in with your question, if you have a follow up question or would like to ask about anything else, please feel free to ask Dave another question

 

Warm Regards,
David Snape
Author: What You Should Know about Gum Disease

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