What Happens When You Stop Using Fluoride Toothpaste?

Searching for what happens when you stop using fluoride toothpaste? Learn this EON Clinics guide carefully.

Have you ever sighted fluoride in the list of ingredients on the label of your toothpaste and got curious about what fluoride is? Mostly all toothpaste available in the local drug store has fluoride as its chief ingredient and claims to provide strength and extra protection to the teeth.

Fluoride is an essential mineral naturally found in certain foods and tap water. It is proven to be highly beneficial in adding an extra layer of protection to the enamel of the teeth and keeping the teeth strong and healthy. With enough fluoride use one can fetch multiple benefits of fluoride, and using this, tooth decay, cavities, and diseases/infections forming inside the mouth- all can be avoided! 

There are many fluoride-based products available like toothpaste and even mouthwash which help improve the oral health of the users. As the mouth is a gateway to other organs of the body, good dental care, and maintenance, can enhance the general well-being of an individual.

To help better understand the importance of using fluoride toothpaste daily, continue reading this article till the end and know everything related to fluoride toothpaste.          

What is Fluoride Toothpaste and Why Use It?

As it sounds, fluoride toothpaste is a kind of toothpaste containing fluoride in required amounts. Using fluoride toothpaste is a great way to expose the teeth to the natural mineral required to initiate the remineralization process in the enamel. It can be used every morning and night to provide teeth with extra protection and strength, prevent decay or cavities, and proactively help preserve oral health. It is the best approach to easily integrate fluoride into the oral hygiene routine and allows the teeth to start healing themselves from any kind of damage done throughout the day.

What Happens If You Don’t Use Fluoride Toothpaste?

If you are choosing fluoride-free toothpaste over fluoride toothpaste or you have decided to stop the use of fluoride toothpaste at some point in time, then you can expect to notice the negative impact on your teeth’ health as time passes by.

With insufficiency of fluoride, your teeth will start to weaken over time and you will begin to notice changes in your teeth. The enamel (outermost, thin covering) of your teeth will start to erode, become thinner, and will no longer be able to re-mineralize quickly enough to stop the demineralization process and reverse its effect. This will allow the bacteria to creep into your mouth and take over. At this point, you will start to notice early signs of tooth decay. A few of the common signs of experiencing cavities and tooth decay include: 

  • Tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Pain while eating or drinking or when biting down
  • Visible pits or holes in the teeth
  • Discoloration on the tooth’s surface.

If the decay is left ignored, it can start to progress and you will then experience more symptoms which will become more severe over time. Ultimately, you will experience an extreme toothache or severe discomfort and you will have no other option but to promptly make an appointment with your dentist. After checking the extent of the tooth decay or cavity, your dentist will recommend you the best treatment option. If the decay is mild you may simply require a dental filling and if it has turned severe enough, the decayed tooth needs to be extracted.   

Who Can Use Toothpaste with Fluoride in it?

 Fluoride toothpaste can be used by both children and adults. But, for small children, it is always important to monitor the children while they brush their teeth. That’s because young children often take more toothpaste to brush their teeth in their best interests, than what is needed. Too much use of fluoride toothpaste and its swallowing over a long duration can cause fluorosis in them associated with tooth discoloration and gastrointestinal discomfort. If a child is brushing their teeth, under the supervision of a parent/guardian, with fluoride toothpaste, then the parent/guardian must ensure that the proper amount of toothpaste is being used by the child and the child is spitting it out after brushing.  

Is Fluoride Toothpaste Safe to Use?

Yes, experts have found it to be a safe and effective part of routine oral hygiene to keep teeth strong and healthy. The only risk known so far with fluoride use is fluorosis- an aesthetic flaw that results in the appearance of white lines/discoloration on the tooth’s enamel.

How Much Fluoride is Required by the Body Every Day and What is the Right Amount for Daily Toothpaste?

The recommended amount of fluoride intake varies among people based on their age and sex. Adult men usually need slightly less fluoride than adult women and children require many low levels of exposure to adults. Here is the recommended amount (in mg) for each life stage:

  • Newborn to 6 months- 0.01
  • Infants (7-12 months)- 0.5
  • Children (1-3 years)- 0.7
  • Children (4-8 years)- 1
  • Children (9-13 years)- 2
  • Teenagers (14-18 years)- 3
  • Adult men (19 and above)- 4
  • Adult women (19 and above)- 3
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding teens and women– 3.

The amount of fluoride toothpaste that one must use also varies based on one’s age. Children usually require less dosage than adults. Here is the recommended amount of fluoride that one’s toothpaste must contain (in ppm) as well as how many portions of the toothpaste one must use while brushing:

  • Under 3 years: 1000 ppm (small portion size)
  • 3-6 years: 1000-1450 ppm (pea-size portion)
  • 7+ years: 1450 ppm (little more than pea-size)
  • Adults: Between 1350 and 1500 ppm of fluoride (most effective amount).

There are also scenarios existing where adults or children may need to use a toothpaste containing higher levels of fluoride. In such a case, a dental professional will prescribe a higher strength of fluoride toothpaste.

Benefits of Fluoride Toothpaste Over Non-Fluoridated Toothpaste

Including fluoride in the daily intake provides several benefits. Above all is the protection from tooth decay and cavities. 

Our mouth is an easy and good breeding ground for oral bacteria. Such bacteria feed upon sugars that stick onto the teeth surfaces after one consumes sugar-loaded foods and drinks. When sugars and bacteria build up inside the mouth, over the tooth surfaces, they cause acid production, a demineralization process to take place, which leads to enamel erosion and its weakening over time. A weak enamel becomes more susceptible to decay. Fluoride helps in initiating or increasing the rate of the remineralization process. It helps in the easier absorption of calcium and phosphate- the two minerals that make up the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, fluoride helps prevent the overgrowth of bacteria inside the mouth, resulting in less likelihood of tooth decay or cavities.

Using fluoride toothpaste is an easy and effective approach to providing teeth with access to natural minerals. Having a daily brushing routine is enough to help encourage the remineralization of the teeth’ enamel and protect them against decay. That’s why the use of fluoride toothpaste for daily brushing twice a day is preferred over toothpaste without fluoride by everyone and is most recommended by every dentist.

However, some people choose fluoride-free toothpaste, usually because of their allergy to fluoride or their experiencing fluorosis discoloration of the tooth caused by exposure of their teeth to abundant fluoride. Parents may choose fluoride-free toothpaste for their young kids who are prone to swallowing toothpaste while brushing their teeth as swallowing fluoride toothpaste can lead to fluorosis.           

Other Ways to Increase Fluoride Intake

  • Increased consumption of naturally fluoridated foods such as grapes, resins, black tea, lettuce, spinach, and potatoes
  • Drinking or use of fluoridated water for teeth cleaning
  • Professional fluoride treatment (use of fluoride varnish).

To know more about the benefits of taking toothpaste with fluoride, schedule an appointment with your dentist today!


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