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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 free elemental form, fluoride is a trace mineral (like iodine) called fluorine. 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 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