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What is fluoride toothpaste?

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The most important ingredient to look for when choosing toothpaste is fluoride.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Its use has been instrumental in the dramatic drop in tooth decay and cavity occurrence that has taken place over the past 50 years. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches that remain on your teeth after eating. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from the acid that is released when this happens. It does this in two ways. First, fluoride makes your tooth enamel stronger and less likely to suffer acid damage. Second, it can reverse the early stages of acid damage by remineralizing areas that have started to decay.

Using fluoride toothpaste is an important way to ensure that your teeth are reaping the benefits of this dental-friendly mineral. Don't think you can skip fluoride if you live in an area where the water is fluoridated. Studies have shown that using fluoride toothpaste helps increase the concentration of fluoride in the teeth, even in areas with water supplies containing high levels of the mineral.

From: Weighing Your Toothpaste Options WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "ADA Seal of Acceptance Program."

American Dental Association: "Keeping Teeth Bright and Healthy."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Brushing and Toothpaste."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Fluoride."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Toothpaste From China Containing Harmful Chemical."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 7, 2019

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "ADA Seal of Acceptance Program."

American Dental Association: "Keeping Teeth Bright and Healthy."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Brushing and Toothpaste."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Fluoride."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Toothpaste From China Containing Harmful Chemical."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 7, 2019

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