Do I need fluoride in my toothpaste?
We’ve got big news here at Change Toothpaste–we’ve recently launched our fluoridated toothpaste tablet!
It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been chomping at the bit to get it to you. It wasn’t easy to get approval for fluoride, a medicinal ingredient. You can still buy your favourite non-fluoridated toothpaste tabs from us in spearmint, cinnamon, and bubblegum. We’re proud to offer both options.
Here’s why fluoridated zero waste tablets are kind of a big deal. Many people prefer fluoridated toothpaste, which stops them from choosing zero waste toothpaste tablets. But now that we offer a fluoridated tablet, that means more people will join our growing zero waste community. We can practically smell revolution in the air.
So, let’s talk fluoride. We’ll talk about how it prevents cavities in your teeth, why it’s so hard to get government approval, and why we’re offering fluoridated and non-fluoridated toothpaste tablets.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in nature. It can be found, in small amounts, in water, soil, rocks, air, plants, and even in our bones.
In 1901, scientists discovered that fluoride was effective at preventing cavities. By 1945, fluoride was added to the drinking water supply in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Studies showed that children who drank fluoridated water had 50-70% less tooth decay than children who drank unfluoridated water. From this point on, fluoridated water became the golden standard in most countries.
How does fluoride prevent cavities?
Fluoride helps prevent cavities by preventing plaque and tartar from forming on our teeth. It stops bacteria from turning sugars into acids that harm our enamel, the teeth’s natural protective shield. Bacteria are constantly present in the mouth, and become a problem when we eat sugary foods, or any carbohydrates. The bacteria in the mouth consumes these sugars, turning them into acids. These acids eventually bore holes into the enamel, forming cavities.
You don’t need to be a candy crusher to get cavities. Other foods high in carbohydrates, like bread and grains, can cause tooth decay if you don’t practise good oral hygiene.
Fluoride prevents cavities by remineralizing the enamel, promoting the growth of enamel crystals. Enamel can be damaged, or demineralized, over time and is caused by a few things. Eating sugary or starchy foods, brushing too hard, and not keeping up with regular brushing can all accelerate demineralization.
Your mouth naturally remineralizes your teeth. Your saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which strengthens the enamel. But thanks to the prevalence of foods high in sugar and carbs, bacteria are constantly threatening our teeth with acid.
Luckily, demineralization is reversible. Unless your enamel is severely damaged, you can remineralize your enamel by using toothpaste with fluoride and a regular brushing routine.
Is fluoride safe?
Fluoride is safe to use in small amounts. Most toothpastes only contain 1.3 mg of fluoride per recommended amount of toothpaste. Change Toothpaste tablets contain 0.2% sodium fluoride, which is considered safe for infants and children.
Children can get mild fluorosis from using too much fluoridated toothpaste during their formative years. Mild fluorosis can appear as white or brown marks on the teeth. This is a purely cosmetic issue, and fluorosis is harmless. However, we recommend supervising your children while they brush. Make sure they’re only using 1 tablet and not swallowing the toothpaste.
Can toothpaste tablets without fluoride prevent cavities?
Yes–so long as you use them correctly. Many toothpaste options don’t contain fluoride, especially in the realm of natural self-care products. Fluoride gives you an extra layer of protection from cavities and more peace of mind, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of cavity prevention.
The very act of brushing with a toothbrush prevents cavities by removing plaque before it turns into tartar. But, since you’re relying on the action of brushing alone, be sure to brush in a way that removes all the plaque. Brush in a circular motion, making sure to brush every section of your teeth on all sides. You should spend at least 2 minutes brushing your teeth.
Why is it so hard to get approved for fluoride use?
Health Canada classifies fluoride as a medicinal ingredient, so using it in a product requires a lengthy application process.
Change Toothpaste underwent a 2-year process to launch our fluoridated tablets. The first year involved familiarizing ourselves with the regulations around fluoride. We even hired a consultant to decode them for us. Then, we spent a year honing our craft, developing an acceptable tablet that would be effective and enjoyable to use.
Once our tablet was developed, we were able to apply for a natural products number (NPN) in order to sell our tablets. Once we got our NPN in order, we were able to begin the process of putting our fluoridated tablet on the market. After a lot of trial and error, paperwork, and anticipation, we finally launched our fluoridated toothpaste tablet on October 17, 2022!
Why do you offer fluoridated and non-fluoridated tablets?
We offer fluoridated and non-fluoridated toothpaste tablets to give people options. Many of our customers prefer toothpaste tablets without fluoride due to fluoride sensitivities. Signs of fluoride sensitivities include headaches, cuts or sores in the mouth, face rashes, gastric upset, joint pain, and more.
A toothpaste tablet for everyone
Our zero-waste toothpaste with fluoride means more zero-wasters and less plastic tubes in the landfill. Whether you put your trust in fluoride or don’t want it anywhere near your toothpaste, there’s a toothpaste tablet for you.
We’re not in the fluoride fight–we’re on a mission to reduce single-use plastic waste. Our toothpaste tablets are packaged in compostable cellulose bags, and you can easily refill them at your local refillery.
Whoever you are, and however you brush your teeth, we welcome you warmly into our zero-waste toothpaste movement!
Order your fluoride toothpaste tablets now, and choose between a 1-month and a 3-month supply!