Fact or fable: is fluoride in toothpaste unhealthy?

Health risks

If you ingest too much fluorine, you have a risk of getting health problems. For example, it’s said to be able to affect your brain and nervous system and to make your bones and teeth porous in the long term. In some countries, fluorine can also be found in the water and research has shown that people who live in those countries have weaker teeth and bones. So, if it affects your teeth, why is it one of the ingredients of toothpaste? This has everything to do with the amount of it you’re ingesting.


Fluoride is harmful if you ingest too much of it. When you’re brushing your teeth, you only swallow a very minimal amount of the stuff, which means it’s completely safe to use. According to dentists, you would have to consume about a tube a day for toothpaste to harmful. So, always spit out your toothpaste and you’ll be fine.


The reason why there’s often no fluoride in children’s toothpaste is that they are more likely to swallow the toothpaste and might even sneak a little bit of it as a treat. Plus, since they have much smaller bodies, they’re more susceptible to the substance. But it’s definitely fine for adults to brush their teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride! And you don’t need as much toothpaste as the commercials are telling you; for one adult, a single drop the size of a pea is enough.

Read more: Did you know you can clean these 8 things with toothpaste?

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Source: HLN | Image: Pexels

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