Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been shown to be effective in preventing tooth decay. When fluoride is added to toothpaste, it helps to strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay caused by acid-producing bacteria. The fluoride in toothpaste also helps to remineralize areas of the tooth where decay has begun, which can help to reverse early-stage cavities.
Some of the benefits of using a toothpaste that contains fluoride include:
- Reduced risk of tooth decay: Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay caused by acid-producing bacteria. This can help to prevent cavities from forming and can also slow the progression of existing cavities
- Improved oral health: When tooth enamel is stronger, it is less likely to chip or break. This can lead to improved oral health overall, as well as a more attractive smile.
- Cost-effective: Fluoride is a relatively inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay. Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride can be a cost-effective way to maintain good oral health.
- Convenient: Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride is easy and convenient. It is a simple step that can be incorporated into your daily oral hygiene routine.
It's important to note that fluoride toothpaste should be used in appropriate amount, as excessive use can lead to Fluorosis which causes discoloration of tooth. Also young children should be supervised when brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste to avoid swallowing it.
What brands offer a high fluoride toothpaste
There are many brands of toothpaste that contain fluoride on the market. Some popular brands include:
- Colgate: Colgate offers a wide range of toothpastes that contain fluoride, including Colgate Total, Colgate Cavity Protection, and Colgate Sensitive their highest fluoride toothpaste is Duraphat 5000 which requires a prescription.
- Crest: Crest is a well-known brand of toothpaste that offers several fluoride-containing options, such as Crest Pro-Health, Crest 3D White, and Crest Sensi-Relief.
- Sensodyne: Sensodyne is a brand of toothpaste that is specifically formulated for people with sensitive teeth. It offers several fluoride-containing options, such as Sensodyne Pronamel, Sensodyne Repair & Protect, and Sensodyne Rapid Relief.
- Aquafresh: Aquafresh offers several fluoride-containing toothpastes, such as Aquafresh Triple Protection, Aquafresh Kids, and Aquafresh White & Shine.
- Tom's of Maine: Tom's of Maine is a natural toothpaste brand and they offer several fluoride-containing toothpastes, such as Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening, Tom's of Maine Simply White and Tom's of Maine Children's Fluoride Toothpaste.
- Other brand include, Oral-B, Listerine, and many more, each of them comes with different formulation and flavor.It's worth noting that, while fluoride toothpaste is widely available and generally safe to use, it's important to talk to your dentist or a health care professional if you have any concerns about using fluoride-containing products or have a special oral health needs.
Why is a prescription required in the UK for high fluoride toothpaste?
In the United Kingdom, some types of toothpastes that contain fluoride are available only by prescription from a dentist or other healthcare professional. This is because higher concentrations of fluoride are available in prescription toothpastes compared to over-the-counter toothpastes. These prescription toothpastes are typically used to treat specific oral health conditions, such as severe tooth sensitivity or early-stage cavities.
The reason for this is that, while fluoride toothpaste is generally considered safe for most people to use, excessive fluoride intake can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which causes discoloration of the teeth. To reduce the risk of fluorosis, the UK National Health Service (NHS) has guidelines in place for the use of fluoride toothpastes.
The guidelines state that:
- For children under 6 years of age, toothpaste containing at least 1,000ppm fluoride should be used with adult supervision to minimise the risk of swallowing it.
- For Children 6-14 and adult, toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride should be used.
Toothpaste available over the counter in the UK typically contains fluoride at the concentration of around 1000ppm, whereas the stronger one that requires prescription contains more than that. Additionally, for people with high risk of caries or previous history of caries, the dentist may prescribe higher strength toothpaste for a limited time, as a preventive measure.
It's worth noting that, even though prescription toothpastes are stronger, they should still be used in the recommended amount, as excessive use can still lead to fluorosis. Also if you have any concerns or special oral health needs, it is always recommended to consult with your dentist or healthcare professional.