Fluoride: it’s a serious bone of contention for ‘conscious’ parents because whilst many claim that it is poisonous, others highlight how well it protects teeth from cavities.
I’m no scientist/ dentist/ any kind of expert on teeth… but I am a mum, who brushes her kids’ teeth morning and night, so I have to come to a decision around fluoride knowing the positives and negatives this chemical brings.
According to dentalhealth.org:
“Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce.”
The truth is every dentist I have ever met has confirmed that children living in areas where fluoride is added to drinking-water are far less likely to experience cavities.
But, according to fluoridealert.org:
“In terms of acute toxicity (i.e., the dose that can cause immediate toxic consequences), fluoride is more toxic than lead, but slightly less toxic than arsenic. This is why fluoride has long been used in rodenticides and pesticides to kill pests like rats and insects.”
Not comfortable reading if you’re brushing your kids’ teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
If only things were clear-cut but the complicated truth, when it comes to fluoride, seems to be that it will protect your child’s teeth from cavities BUT it is a component in pesticides.
Perhaps the truth is that as long as it’s consumed in low doses, children are safe. But, like so many controversial decisions around childcare, although the Internet is rammed with pro- and anti- fluoride opinions pieces, real scientific evidence is hard to come by and hard to decipher if you aren’t a trained scientist.
Protecting Little Ones
If you don’t decide to use fluoride be sure to visit the dentist regularly to check for cavities, and keep those sugary snacks to a minimum (same goes for all us parents really).
If you do opt for fluoride, dental visits are still mandatory as it’s easy to miss parts of your mouth when brushing. When using fluoridated toothpaste, encourage your kids to swill and spit it out to minimise the amount of toxins swallowed. Of course, this is easier said than done with really little ones which is why some advise avoiding fluoride toothpaste until two to three years old.
Dental Wipes for Tiny Ones
This is where Jack n’ Jill clever wipes come in. Biodegradable, 100% organic, soft cotton, SLS-, sugar and, most importantly, fluoride-free: they’re totally safe to use from the very first tooth until older toddlers can start to brush their teeth. Jack n’ Jill’s also offer fluoride-free toothpaste and biodegradable toothbrushes.
And remember, don’t worry. Sometimes parenting can seem like an endless stream of difficult choices: ultimately, wherever you stand on the great fluoride debate, as long as your kids’ teeth are seen regularly by a dentist you can’t go too far wrong.