Table of Contents
- What Is This Stuff?
- The Dangers
- It’s In Our Water!
- But What About the Paste?
- Does It Do Any Good?
- To Fluoride Or Not To Fluoride?
- Finally, The List!
- Jason PowerSmile Fluoride Free Toothpaste,
- Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste
- Auromere Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste
- Weleda: Natural Salt Toothpaste
- Neem and Pomegranate Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
It seems that there’s a report that comes out weekly about how what we put into our body will give us an incurable disease, destroy our lives and lower the resale value on our homes (maybe not that last one).
It can be tough to figure out what is actually safe and what isn’t with the myriad of chemicals that we constantly put into our body. That particular question is very popular with Fluoride in particular lately. Well, we’ve done the research and put together a bit of information for you on when Fluoride is safe and when it’s appropriate to get Fluoride free toothpaste.
Note: If you’re not interested in the full explanation just scroll down the page – our list is at the bottom!
What Is This Stuff?
What is fluoride in the first place? Well, friend, I’ll tell ya! Fluoride is a chemical that helps prevent cavities in our teeth.
How does it actually work though?
Here’s the skinny. There are tons of bacteria in our mouth that feed off of the food that we regularly eat.
That’s not really a bad thing (they’re pretty friendly) except for their poop.
That’s right, the bacteria’s poop.
This mouth bacteria will regularly excrete an enamel dissolving acid called hydroxyapatite (say that ten times fast!). This acid eats away at the outer lining of our teeth.
But wait! Our enamel regularly rebuilds itself, so that’s not a big deal! Correct… kind of. The problem is that the hydroxyapatite will eat away at our teeth faster than they can rebuild themselves. Basically, the bad stuff happens faster than the good stuff.
This is where fluoride comes in. When you regularly apply fluoride to the surface of our teeth, it changes this enamel eating acid from hydroxyapatite into fluoroapatite. Now, that’s not any easier to say but it is a lot easier on our teeth. Fluoroapatite eats away at our teeth at a much slower rate.
The result is that our teeth are able to rebuild faster than they’re being eaten away. The good stuff happens faster than the bad stuff.
TL;DR: Stuff from bacteria eats away at our teeth. Fluoride slows it down to give our teeth more time to rebuild.
I don’t think anybody would have a huge issue with fluoride if it weren’t for some of the scary things we’re told it can do to our bodies. There’s a ton of crazy stuff that we hear about though. From cancer, to bone frailty, to damaging our kid’s teeth growth… it’s terrifying!
The problem is a fair bit of this isn’t based in solidly in fact. We’ve looked around to find some pretty official documentation as to how fluoride affects us and what the risks are.
It’s In Our Water!
One of the largest complaints when it comes to fluoride is the addition of it to our drinking water. According to the CDC (source here) the only detrimental effect they’ve found in over-fluoridated water (water with 2-4mg/liter instead of the standard 0.7mg/liter) was an increased risk for sever dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is a condition found in children under the age of eight where mild to moderate white specs appear on their teeth. The child and their teeth (and the growth of their teeth) are otherwise unharmed if they’re affected by dental fluorosis.
Even in water with three to six times the recommended amount of fluoride there were no other adverse effects. Scientists found that in water under 2mg/liter (three times the standard amount) the number of sever fluorosis cases fell to nearly zero.
Based on what we’ve found there is no risk whatsoever of drinking fluoridated water that’s even three times the standard amount.
But What About the Paste?
The amount of fluoride in water is incredibly small compared to the amount you’ll find in toothpaste – this is where you need to be a tad bit more concerned. As an adult you shouldn’t worry about fluoride in toothpaste unless you have any allergic reaction to fluoride. The amounts of fluoride you receive will not affect you in any adverse way.
Children are a slightly different point.
If you’ve got little ones running around you’ll want to look a bit more closely at when you’re using fluoride in toothpaste. The biggest concern is if you’re child (or anyone under your care) is swallowing toothpaste regularly. Regular ingestion of toothpaste with fluoride in it can again lead to mild to severe fluorosis, causing small to moderately large white specs on their teeth.
Again, fluorosis doesn’t have any other adverse effects aside from an aesthetic alteration of the teeth, but it’s still something your child or loved one will want to avoid.
Does It Do Any Good?
So now that we’ve covered the way fluoride can hurt you, the question is: can it actually help you? The short answer is yes. The crux of this issue comes down to whether or not you trust the sources that tell you this though. Perhaps those who tell us fluoride is good for us are lying (how dare they!).
We’ve located some very solid studies performed by sources that we trust. These studies are listed below. We encourage you to read through these in full if you’re on the fence as to whether or not fluoride is actually healthy and helpful.
- Caries‐preventive effect of fluoride toothpaste: A Systematic Review
- Effectiveness of Fluoride in Preventing Caries in Adults
We also found an interesting an informative article about a study done when fluoride was removed from the drinking water in Calgary. This article can be found here.
To Fluoride Or Not To Fluoride?
So now we’ve reviewed all this stuff. The question still remains, do I get fluoride free toothpaste or not?
Fluoride toothpaste is a part of a healthy dental routine for the vast majority of human beings on planet earth over the age of two. The two cases when fluoride free toothpaste should be used is when anyone under your care is regularly swallowing toothpaste. This applies specifically to all children under two years old.
The other instance that applies is if you have some sort of medical or allergic adversity to fluoride. As per usual, discuss this with your dentist to find the best way forward.
It’s worth noting that in certain circumstances it’s possible to obtain enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay through your diet alone. We strongly encourage you to consult your dentist before switching to fluoride free toothpaste in this instance as well.
Finally, The List!
If you’ve decided that fluoride free toothpaste is for you then browse through our list below to find the best option! We’ve compiled the five best non fluoride toothpastes on the market today. Happy browsing!
Note: We originally had included Toms Of Maine Antiplaque And Whitening Natural Toothpaste in our list however there have been a number of complaints regarding the recent formula change. In the recently change, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste began including SLS. SLS is another chemical that many deem to be harmful to the body. If this isn’t an issue for you then we’d encourage you to check out this toothpaste. Otherwise check out our other suggestions below.
Jason PowerSmile Fluoride Free Toothpaste,
We’ve chosen Jason Natural PowerSmile Fluoride Free Toothpaste as our number one pick because it checks off the two most important boxes: fluoride free and SLS free. We know that a number of potential buyers are very concerned about both of these chemicals so we were happy to see a quality product that uses neither.
On top of not having fluoride or SLS, PowerSmile is fantastic at getting rid of mild to serious canker sore outbreaks. A large number of users have pointed to PowerSmile as the reason that they’re no longer regularly getting canker sores.
PowerSmile utilizes a collection of natural polishers that are designed to whiten teeth and fight bacteria that produces enamel producing acid. Two of these are grapefruit seed and perilla seed. These natural products help to replace the role that would traditionally be filled by fluoride.
Finally, PowerSmile is cruelty free with the caveat of using a minimal number of ethically sourced animal by-products. On their website they give the assurance that they use no animal testing and the few animal by-products they use do not harm animals in any way.
Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste
Second on our list is the Dessert Essence Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste. This spiffy toothpaste formula utilizes tea tree oil from the Australian outback to make your teeth super clean.
Fighting plaque alongside the tea tree oil is Neem. Right off the bat we wanted to figure out what in the world Neem was. If you had/have no idea, here it is.
- Neem: an Ayurvedic extract known for its oral health benefits.
- Ayurvedic: A system of medicine with historical roots in India
There we are. It’s natural stuff that makes your teeth more awesome.
Some of the other stats for this product look pretty great too:
- It won the Better Nutrition Best of Beauty award in 2012
- Utilizes vegetable (non-animal) glycerin
- Does not contain SLS
You’re able to get a variety of flavors if you’re not a fan of the Wintergreen flavor, but honestly we didn’t think the taste was too bad. Along with that there was no burn whatsoever. The texture is very smooth and it still foams up like regular toothpaste so switching from a standard toothpaste will be seamless.
The only downside we found to the Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste was that it contains carrageenan. If you don’t know anything about carrageenan, we encourage you to read more about it here.
If you have no issues using toothpaste with carrageenan than you’ll likely find the Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste a good fit.
Auromere Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste
Coming in at number three is the Auromere Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste. This herbal toothpaste has no fluoride, no artificial preservatives, no saccharin or refined sweeteners (i.e. no sugar) and is cruelty free.
Along with the use of Neem is a collection of 24 different herbal extracts including bark, roots, plants and flowers. Each of these different 24 extracts have been specifically chosen with the guidance of ayurvedic specialists. It’s pretty crazy to check out all of the different herbal ingredients they use. Check out their ingredients list if you get a chance!
The exciting part about this option is the variety in flavors and in our book, options are a good thing. Along with the standard Freshmint option comes licorice, mint-free, foam-free cardamom-fennel and SLS-Free freshmint. The link above directs to the SLS-free option, so if you’re trying to avoid SLS toothpastes you’re in good shape!
Weleda: Natural Salt Toothpaste
Another fantastic fluoride free toothpaste is the Weleda Natural Salt Toothpaste. We were huge fans of the sea salt flavor – it was wonderfully refreshing compared to the monopoly of mint flavored toothpastes on the market.
Weleda is the original manufacture of baking soda toothpaste – they were the ones who started it! As such this formula includes baking soda along with sea salt, myyrh, ratanhia and a variety of other natural ingredients.
If you go with this fluoride free toothpaste option make sure you give it a week or two to sink in. While the sea salt flavor is a nice change, the grittiness of the toothpaste takes a little while to get used to. You definitely won’t mind after a couple of brushings but make sure you’re prepared for something a bit different when you start out.
Another added benefit with the Weleda Natural Salt Toothpaste is the increased saliva production. Saliva production is hugely important for getting dangerous and harmful bacteria out of your mouth. The more saliva you’ve got, the easier it is to flush those suckers down the drain!
Also, while all of our fluoride free toothpaste options would work well for children, if you’re specifically looking to protect your young one’s teeth we suggest you check out Weleda’s Children’s Tooth Gel for added protection.
Neem and Pomegranate Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
Last but not least is the Neem and Pomegranate Fluoride Free Toothpaste. This guy is pretty sweet because he comes all the way from the Himalayas in India! He’s probably travelled farther in his life than I have in mine!
This product contains no fluoride, no saccharin, no SLS and no animal testing, so all of those boxes get checked off for us.
While the flavor of this toothpaste is technically mint you really can’t taste much of it. As someone who has a vendetta against mint flavors the taste really didn’t bother me a whole lot. Also there’s not really any aftertaste, so if you brush and immediately drink a glass of orange juice it doesn’t taste absolutely awful. Amazing! Like seriously, that’s the worst part about brushing your teeth.
Above we’ve gathered together five fantastic options if you’re looking for a fluoride free toothpaste option. We encourage you to test around a bit to find an option that works well for you. And as always, if you have any questions contact either us or your dentist!