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When formulated correctly and used as directed, fluoride toothpaste will help to safely and
effectively prevent tooth decay. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated fluoride’s effectiveness in
reducing cavities. Fluoride helps diminish demineralization of tooth enamel and even enhances the
remineralization of potential decay spots.
Fluoride is currently the only toothpaste ingredient recognized by the US Food and Drug
Administration to prevent cavities. The FDA recognizes three forms of fluoride: sodium monofluorophosphate,
sodium fluoride, and stannous fluoride and regulates the levels at which they can be included in toothpaste
Consumers who do not wish to use an anti-cavity toothpaste may be interested to know
that Tom’s of Maine also produces a line of fluoride-free toothpaste. We feel it is important to offer
individuals a choice and trust that they will work with their dental care professionals to establish an oral
care regimen that is right for them.
All fluoride toothpastes marketed in the US are required by the FDA to bear certain warning language
that caution against accidental ingestion. Most of the concerns raised about fluoride have stemmed from
controversy surrounding the fluoridation of municipal drinking water supplies. The question of mass
fluoridation of public water is an entirely separate issue from including fluoride in toothpaste. Fluoride
toothpaste is applied directly to the surface of the teeth, delivers a benefit, and is immediately rinsed out.
Water fluoridation, by contrast, depends on fluoride ingestion.
In its ionic form, fluoride is found as a trace mineral. In nature, it is found only in compound
forms, such as the ore fluorspar (calcium fluoride) in soil. It can be found in both fresh and sea water, in
food (fish, bone meal, tea), and in our bodies as part of the bone. Sodium fluoride is an intermediate in the
processing of fluoride into sodium monofluorophosphate. We use both forms of fluoride, depending on the
product formulation and what can and can’t be used with certain ingredients. Our calcium carbonate-based
toothpastes require the use of sodium monofluorophosphate. We typically use sodium fluoride in our anticavity
gel toothpastes and our anticavity mouthwashes.
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A second opinion is always a good idea.
Visit the American Botanical Council for the latest research on our herbal ingredients. Read the expert research