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  • Writer's pictureJackie Morrill-Faucher

What Fluoride Is In Your Toothpaste?

Did you know there is more than one type of fluoride that can be found in dental toothpaste? Fluoride is absorbed into your tooth enamel and repairs it by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphourus keeping your teeth hard. It is also most commonly known for helping reduce the risk of decay in both children and adults. When it comes to toothpaste, Fluoride is considered an essential ingredient by the American Dental Association. It’s important when you are in the overwhelming dental aisle picking out your toothpaste you understand the product you are buying.

Sodium Fluoride has been the most common Fluoride found in toothpaste for many years, but recently I noticed that Stannous Fluoride is making a comeback as the main ingredient in most of the new Crest and Colgate toothpastes. I would not say this is a bad thing, but I want to inform you of the differences between them, so as the consumer you are aware of what you are buying.

Sodium Fluoride: Helps prevent dental cavities. It is found in dental toothpaste and mouth rinses, and when used properly it can help decrease demineralization of tooth enamel by remineralizing softer areas making the enamel stronger.

Stannous Fluoride: Helps prevent dental cavities, kills bacteria found in plaque that causes gum disease & tooth decay, and helps reduce sensitivity. It is also found in mouth rinses and toothpaste. When Stannous Fluoride is used consistently, and properly then it can be more beneficial than Sodium Fluoride to keep you oral cavity it’s healthiest. The only negative to this type of Fluoride is that it can cause staining. The staining is a brown stain that is really light for some people while others get a dark and heavy stain. If you are buying whitening toothpaste that contains Stannous Fluoride, the whitening product does not negate the risk of stain from the Fluoride. Companies do put the warning on their labels that Stannous Fluoride may cause staining, which can usually be removed during your dental cleaning but not always depending on the roughness of your enamel and dental restorations.

Although both types of Fluoride are beneficial, Stannous Fluoride has proven to be more beneficial as a whole. It has multiple benefits for your oral cavity where Sodium Fluoride focuses on cavity protection. As a reminder Fluoride in our water supplies is a separate subject from fluoride in toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is topical and is directly applied to the surfaces of our teeth and gets rinsed out immediately. This prevents ingestion while providing a daily benefit of protection. Talk to your dental professional for their opinion on which would be best for you.

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