Benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste

With the growing awareness of the benefits of natural personal care products, more and more people are looking for alternatives to conventional toothpastes such as fluoride-free toothpaste.

No doubt the first thing the reader will think of is how many times he or she has heard that fluoride toothpaste is ideal against tooth decay. So why choose a fluoride-free toothpaste? Let’s look at the arguments behind this product that we use every day and about which so little research is usually done.

Toothpaste with natural CBD Cannactiva
Cannactiva natural toothpaste with CBD

History of fluoride in toothpastes

When and why did fluoride begin to be used in toothpaste?

Fluorine is a chemical element found in nature in the form of the mineral fluoride. This compound began to be added to toothpastes in the 1950s, after the American dentist Dr. Frederick McKay discovered that water with high levels of fluoride had a protective effect against dental caries (1).

We now know that fluoride is able to bind to tooth enamel, transforming its structure into fluorapatite, a resistant mineral. In this way, fluoride hardens the enamel and helps protect teeth from decay… But read on!

An updated perspective on fluoride

Since the 1950s, when fluoride began to be used, there has been new research that gives us more complete information about the impact of fluoride on our health.

The main known problem with fluoride is that in excess it causes dental fluorosis, the dental disease that causes staining and malformations of the teeth, for which Dr. McKay began research in the early 20th century. However, this problem is not common at present, at least in its most severe forms, as it occurs mainly in areas where fluoridated water is used.

Possible link between fluoride and thyroid problems

A more current and controversial topic is the possible relationship between fluoride and thyroid problems. Fluorine and iodine are two chemical elements of the halogen group that have similarities in terms of physicochemical properties, such as their ability to form compounds and their reactivity (fluorine is more reactive than iodine). These similarities could cause fluoride to interfere with iodine metabolism, affecting the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Several studies have found correlations between high fluoride exposure and thyroid problems, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or hypothyroidism, especially in people with low iodine levels. High fluoride exposure has also been observed to cause iodine uptake problems (2-5), and there is even documented research on how this interaction might occur (6). For this reason, more and more therapists recommend avoiding exposure to these products when treating thyroid diseases and opting for a fluoride-free toothpaste.

Doubtful effectiveness of fluoride

Furthermore, although fluoride toothpastes have been promoted as a tool in the prevention of dental caries (almost as a panacea), the latest report of the Spanish Dental Council (October 2022), states that 94% of adults in Spain have caries. This puts into perspective the real effectiveness of fluoride toothpastes and the importance of other more important factors in oral hygiene.

Fluoride toxicity

Fluoride is not an essential nutrient and no deficiency-related disease (including dental caries) has been demonstrated. Some go further and consider it a toxicant, since even at low concentrations, it can interfere with physiological processes by blocking the action of numerous enzymes (1). Moreover, fluoride accumulates in the body (the calcified pineal gland is the tissue in the body with the highest concentration of fluoride) and could have effects on the central nervous system. Studies also indicate that fluoride toxicity is not immediate, but may take up to 20 years to manifest itself (1,7).

If the reader is interested in further research on the subject, we recommend taking a look at the bibliography that accompanies this post and reading The Fluoride Deception (by Christopher Bryson, a journalist who spent 10 years researching fluoride. In fact, in the United States, fluoride is a hot topic, as many states continue to add fluoride to drinking water, exposing citizens to unintentionally high amounts of fluoride.

Benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste

Discover the main benefits of using fluoride-free toothpaste. You will learn about the ingredients included in different toothpastes.

Less abrasive natural ingredients for teeth

If you carefully read the label of an ordinary toothpaste, you are likely to find a long list of ingredient names you don’t recognize. Fluoride-free toothpaste is also generally more natural and with ingredients that are less toxic, less abrasive to enamel and more beneficial to gums and teeth than conventional toothpaste.

What many people don’t know is that natural ingredients can be more effective than conventional ingredients in keeping teeth and mouths clean, stain-free, cavity-free, and without the need for fluoride. And one of the best is white clay or kaolin.

To demonstrate this, we focused on a study (8) in which the efficacy of several toothpastes was evaluated. Of all those analyzed, the best was white clay or kaolin. This toothpaste proved to be the most effective in removing tooth stains without being as abrasive to tooth enamel, compared to the other toothpastes evaluated.

The fluoride-free toothpaste from Cannactiva is made from white clay (also called kaolin), which has properties to attract and capture dirt from teeth and gums, providing a gentle but effective cleaning for tooth care and oral hygiene.

In contrast, toothpastes withhydrated silica (hydrated silica, the most commonly used component in whiteners, even in organic brands) were found to be the most abrasive to tooth enamel (hence their whitening power ).

In addition, at Cannactiva we add cannabidiol or CBD for its potential benefits on teeth and gums.

More information: Benefits of CBD for teeth and gums

Fluoride-free white clay toothpaste
Cannactiva fluoride-free toothpaste. Based on white clay and with effective natural ingredients to keep teeth and mouth clean and take care of gums. Good oral hygiene is key to preventing the formation of cavities.

Behind a dazzling smile: The warning about conventional toothpastes

The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring organic products in the U.S. market, conducted a comprehensive study in 2016 that analyzed the potential risks associated with conventional toothpastes. In the report, entitledBehind a Dazzling Smile” ( Behind a Dazzling Smile details the common presence of toxic substances such as carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and irritating allergens in the composition of commercial toothpastes.

The list of toxic components present in toothpastes includes chemical compounds commonly found on labels: detergents such as sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), endocrine disruptors such as parabens (ethylparaben, propylparaben…) or the antibacterial triclosan, artificial sweeteners derived from petrochemicals such as saccharin, as well as compounds such as PEG or DEA, among others. Although toothpaste is not ingested, the study reports that the oral mucosa shows high absorption.

In addition, the report notes that brands have safer formulations in Europe compared to the same products manufactured by the same companies and marketed in the United States, due to stricter cosmetic laws in Europe.

Tips for good oral hygiene

We hope you have found the benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste interesting and that you will give this everyday product the importance it deserves. Finally, here are some additional tips for good oral hygiene:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with gentle strokes. Using hard brushes or brushing too hard can damage the gums and lead to future tooth sensitivity problems.
  • Use dental floss if you can’t reach between the teeth and gums. Bacterial plaque can form on food debris.
  • Preferably, brush your teeth after eating and before going to bed.
  • Avoid foods containing sugar, which are the most cariogenic.
  • Gum and tooth problems, such as pain, tartar, bad breath or bleeding gums, require professional assessment. Consult your dentist.

By following these tips in your daily routine, you can enjoy a healthy, radiant smile for many years to come. But remember that the most beautiful smile is always the one that comes from the soul: with or without fluoride, live with joy and good humor 🙂

  1. Unde MP, Patil RU, Dastoor PP. The Untold Story of Fluoridation: Revisiting the Changing Perspectives. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Sep-Dec;22(3):121-127. doi: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_124_18. PMID: 30647513; PMCID: PMC6309358.
  2. Malin AJ, Riddell J, McCague H, Till C. Fluoride exposure and thyroid function among adults living in Canada: Effect modification by iodine status. Environ Int. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):667-674. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.09.026. Epub 2018 Oct 10. PMID: 30316182.
  3. Popławska-Kita A, Telejko B, Siewko K, Kościuszko-Zdrodowska M, Wawrusewicz-Kurylonek N, Krętowski A, Hryniewicka J, Dzięcioł J, Bauer W, Milewski R, Szelachowska M, Górska M. Decreased Expression of Thyroglobulin and Sodium Iodide Symporter Genes in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:690704. doi: 10.1155/2014/690704. Epub 2014 Mar 4. PMID: 24723949; PMCID: PMC3960735.
  4. Susheela, A. K. ; Bhatnagar, M. ; Vig, K. ; Mondal, N. K. (2005) Excess fluoride ingestion and thyroid hormone derangements in children living in Delhi, India Fluoride, 38 (2). pp. 98-108. ISSN 0015-4725
  5. Singla S, Shashi A. Thyroid peroxidase activity as toxicity target for fluoride in patients with thyroid dysfunction. Curr. Res. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2013;1:53-7.
  6. Li Y, Zhang J, Li Z. Prevention of iodine deficiency in high fluoride areas in Tianjin City, China. Fluoride. 1998;31:S18-.
  7. Waugh DT. Fluoride Exposure Induces Inhibition of Sodium/Iodide Symporter (NIS) Contributing to Impaired Iodine Absorption and Iodine Deficiency: Molecular Mechanisms of Inhibition and Implications for Public Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 26;16(6):1086. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16061086. PMID: 30917615; PMCID: PMC6466022.
  8. Valdez-Jiménez L, Soria Fregozo C, Miranda Beltrán ML, Gutiérrez Coronado O, Pérez Vega MI. Effects of the fluoride on the central nervous system. Neurology. 2011 Jun;26(5):297-300. English, Spanish. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2010.10.008. Epub 2011 Jan 20. PMID: 21255877.
  9. Schemehorn BR, Moore MH, Putt MS. Abrasion, polishing, and stain removal characteristics of various commercial dentifrices in vitro. J Clin Dent. 2011;22(1):11-8. PMID: 21290981.

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