Fluoride toothpaste is a hot topic in most mom groups, but in Hoboken it’s an even bigger one - since there is no added fluoride in our water like there is elsewhere. Many local pediatricians will recommend fluoride supplements from an early age and it can be a confusing decision to make. I’m not here to tell you what to do, but to help you sort out the information.
Photo Credit: Hoboken Smile Specialists
Fluoride is a chemical found naturally in water sources, soil, and food. The reason many states add it to the water supply is because it has been shown to decrease tooth decay.
There are two different methods of administration. Systemic fluoride, either added in water or in a supplement, helps to protect the teeth that are forming, while topical fluoride in toothpaste strengthens the existing teeth.
For topical fluoride, the ADA recommends as follows:
“2.26% fluoride varnish or 1.23% fluoride (APF) gel, or a prescription-strength, home-use 0.5% fluoride gel or paste or 0.09% fluoride mouth rinse for 6 years or older. Only 2.26% fluoride varnish is recommended for children younger than 6 years.” Read more here.
The reason fluoride can be controversial is because of the risk of fluorosis (white spotting or streaking on enamel) from over ingestion, and animal studies indicating that it may be a neurotoxin. ( The ADA has a study to refute this finding here.)
My favorite training toothpastes without fluoride are Tom's and Nature’s Gate brands. Tom's also has a fluoride-added toothpaste that is made for children. Whatever decision you make, do your research first and talk to your doctor and dentist! We are lucky to live in a town with great local pediatric dentists which are all included in our Little List.
Jessica Crystal is an RN, BSN with a degree from the University of Delaware, a holistic health coach certified from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a mom to a busy toddler, Emma. She enjoys yoga, reading, and shopping and eating on Washington Street. She has lived in Hoboken for over six years with her husband Adam. Jessica runs Little Hoboken Health and Wellness and you can see her on Instastories every Wednesday for Wellness Wednesdays (@littlehoboken).