Let's talk about fluoride!
First off we have to distinguish between fluorine and fluoride!
Fluoride is a natural trace element and is found everywhere in our environment, eg in water and in many foods. Fluorine, on the other hand, is a poisonous gas with a strong smell. The similarity of the two terms often leads to uncertainty and misunderstandings.
You are probably familiar with a similar example from your everyday life: Sodium chloride is the chemical name for common table salt and is an essential part of our diet. Chlorine, on the other hand, is a toxic gas that, in a weakened form, is used to sanitize swimming pools, but also, unfortunately, is used in chemical weapons.
Fluoride can also be dangerous and toxic if taken in excessive amounts. In small quantities, however, it is extremely important for our dental health!
Now let's take a step back:
Tooth enamel is the hardest material in our body and consists of a perfect and microfine lattice of crystal (hydroxyapatite) with embedded inorganic minerals such as magnesium, sodium and potassium. However, this incredibly complex and fascinating structure is very sensitive to the effects of acids, the minerals are slowly dissolved out, the crystal structure becomes porous and thus an ideal hiding place for bacteria, whose metabolic products further hollow out the tooth. This is how tooth decay occurs.
Fluoride can counteract this tooth-destroying process.
Bonded fluorine, i.e. fluoride, is found in almost every toothpaste. Three fluorides in particular have played an important role in dentistry to date: sodium monofluorophosphate, amine fluoride and stannous fluoride. Snow Pearl Toothpaste contains an innovative and groundbreaking new fluoride formula: Calcium Sodium Fluorophosphosilicate. I will write about the excellent properties of this fluoride compound below.
It has been known with certainty since 1850 that enamel containing fluoride is more acid-resistant and it was consequently assumed that tooth decay can be prevented by adding fluoride.
As soon as we eat something, the food is not only crushed by the teeth, but also moistened with saliva. In addition, the mouth is a small biotope with millions of bacteria, most of which are also necessary there, for digestion, among other things. However, certain bacteria are less useful, such as the so-called “mutans streptococci”. These bacteria live on sugar of all kinds, including fructose, glucose and others. They ingest it, "digest" it, and produce acid that lowers the pH in the oral cavity.
Calcium and phosphate minerals are dissolved out of the melt crystal, the crystal structure becomes more porous and therefore less stable. Such a development is called demineralization, i.e. removal of minerals.
The minerals contained in the saliva can counteract this to a certain extent and fill the gaps in the crystal. This makes the tooth enamel dense and strong again. Such a recovery of minerals is called remineralization.
Ideally, there is a balance between de- and remineralization. However, if acid is produced very often or the acid level cannot drop because snacks (especially sweet ones) were eaten, demineralization predominates, the tooth enamel does not get enough calcium phosphate back from the saliva - and the holes in the teeth become larger and larger. This is how tooth decay begins.
What fluoride does
Fluoride can help protect teeth in several ways:
- Fluoride supports remineralization. It has been proven that they help to incorporate calcium phosphates into the tooth enamel more quickly. Advantage: The time for bacteria to use the weak points in the enamel is shorter and the risk of tooth decay is reduced.
- Fluorides are also stored in the enamel themselves, just like the calcium phosphates. Advantage: If demineralization starts again due to acid, fluorides are immediately available to accelerate remineralization.
- Fluoride that gets on the teeth via toothpaste or a corresponding gel forms a kind of protective film around the teeth, a kind of top layer of calcium fluoride. Advantage: If acid occurs, it is already neutralized from this top layer, the minerals in the tooth enamel remain on site, the tooth enamel remains solid.
- Fluorides also penetrate the bacteria and disrupt their metabolism. Advantage: The acid production, which is dangerous to the teeth, is inhibited and bacterial growth is reduced, resulting in less plaque.
- Fluoride should actually be in the teeth like a reservoir. Since this is not sufficiently prepared by nature, fluoride can also be added from the outside. The ideal time for this is in childhood, when the teeth have not yet erupted. As long as teeth are forming in the jawbone, fluoride from food can be built into the enamel via the bloodstream. Advantage: A stable microstructure is created in the tooth right from the start, the lattice becomes firmer, the minerals become more difficult to remove and the tooth is therefore more resistant to destruction by acids. Here, however, it is important not to exceed the dosage, otherwise tooth formation can also be disturbed. For this reason, fluoride tablets are practically no longer recommended today.
- Not only dental scientists, but also consumer advocates such as Stiftung Warentest confirm: Fluoride makes sense. The increasing spread of toothpastes containing fluoride, e.g. B. has led to a very significant reduction in caries in children and adolescents.
Where are fluorides found?
Fluorides in mineral water
Fluoride compounds are found everywhere in nature and therefore also naturally in mineral water. So mineral water is not "artificially" fluoridated. However, it is not mandatory to indicate the fluoride content on the label. If it doesn't appear, you can ask the relevant company for it.
- Only from 1,5 mg fluoride per liter of water does the water have to be labeled "fluoridated".
- From 5 mg/l, mineral water is considered to contain so much fluoride that it must bear a corresponding warning.
- Up to 0,7 mg fluoride per liter water may be advertised as "suitable for the preparation of baby food". Of course, the other limit values (for sodium, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, etc.) must also be observed.
- Water is considered low in fluoride if it contains less than 0,3 mg fluoride.
- FYI: Seawater contains about 1 mg fluoride per liter.
However, most mineral waters have values below 0,5 mg fluoride per liter. Evian contains e.g. B. only 0,02 mg, Gerolsteiner 0,21 mg, Vittel 0,14 mg, Volvic 0,2 mg, Adelholzener up to 0,15 mg, RheinfelsQuelle 0,45 mg, Apollinaris but already 0,68 mg and Selters 0,86 .XNUMX mg.
If you are interested in the fluoride content of your tap water, it is best to ask your water supplier. In most cases, the fluoride content should be less than 0,3 mg per liter.
Fluorides in food
Now, from the above information, the following emerges:
A protective effect against caries should be able to be achieved with as little as 0,05 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, which would be around 70 mg of fluoride for a 3,5-kg person.
Some sources also recommend no more than 3,8 mg of fluoride per day for men and no more than 3,1 mg for women (1).
These values apply to children and young people (1):
- 0 to less than 4 months: 0,25 mg
- 4 to less than 12 months: 0,5 mg
- 1 to 4 years: 0,7 mg
- 4 to 10 years: 1,1 mg
- 10 to 13 years: 2,0 mg
- 13 to 19 years: 2,9 mg (girls), 3,2 mg (boys)
These doses are not nearly high enough to cause damage.
So if you drink 2 liters of low-fluoride water per day, you are consuming around 0,6 mg of fluoride (at most). However, if you drink a lot of black or green tea, consider that this (in addition to the fluoride content of the water used to prepare it) also provides around 1 mg fluoride per liter (although this value can vary enormously - depending on the type of tea). Fruit and herbal teas can also be high in fluoride, but at 2 cups per day this should not exceed 0,3 mg (depending on the amount of dried herbs/fruit used, of course).
Walnuts are also among the foods rich in fluoride with approx. 0,68 mg per 100 g. In general, however, animal foods in particular (meat and fish) are rich in fluoride.
List of fluoride content in foods
Here is a small selection of the fluoride content of some foods (per 100 g), although you should always bear in mind that the fluoride content can also vary here - depending on the fluoride load in the respective environment from which the food comes.
- Salmon (golden, humpback, white salmon): 0,65 mg
- Canned Salmon: 0,16 mg
- Sea salt: 0,48 mg (rather little per gram: 0,0048 mg)
- Sardines/swordfish/herring (each fresh or frozen): 0,4 mg
- Matjes: 0,38 mg (as a preserve 0,27 mg)
- Canned fish: 0,3 mg
- Fried herring lean: 0,24 mg
- Pork liver prepared: 0,28 mg
- Barley pearls: 0,24 mg
- Brewer's yeast tablets/dry yeast: 0,2 mg
- Instant coffee powder: 0,2 mg
- Sweetbreads: 0,2 mg
- Crab fresh: 0,16 mg
- Roquefort/mountain cheese/emmental: 0,16 mg
- Liver sausage: 0,16 mg
- Rye and rye flour: 0,15 mg
- Fish Cakes: 0,15 mg
- Beef fillet cooked: 0,14 mg
- Cashew nuts: 0,14 mg
- Processed cheese: 0,14 mg
- Whole grain bread: 0,1 mg
- Lamb's lettuce/spinach: 0,1 mg
- Almonds: 0,09 mg
- Avocado: 0,05 mg
- Chocolate (whole milk and bitter): 0,05 mg
- Oatmeal: 0,037 mg
- Tofu: 0,007 - 0,013 mg
- Vegetables: 0,007 - 0,05 mg
- Fruit: 0,002 - 0,02 mg
- Potatoes: 0,001 mg
- Beer: 0,001 - 0,005 mg
- Red wine: 0,01 - 0,02 mg
Do fluorides also have disadvantages?
The dose determines whether a substance is good or bad for health. It's no different with fluoride. If too much fluoride is ingested over a long period of time during tooth formation, the teeth can show white or even brownish-yellow stains and dents.
Poisoning is also possible if you swallow too much fluoride.
Now what is too much?
I have to get a little technical here:
The safe toxic dose is 32 to 64 mg fluoride per kilogram of body weight. In young children, the probably toxic dose is 5 mg fluoride per kilogram of body weight.
For an adult weighing 60 kg, that means between 1 and 3'840 mg
For a 20 kg child that means 100 mg
How much fluoride does a 75 ml tube of toothpaste contain?
Ordinary toothpastes usually contain 1450ppm fluoride:
1450ppm = 1450mg/L = 1.450mg/mL = 108.75mg/ 75ml
The Snow Pearl toothpaste contains 520ppm fluoride:
520ppm = 520mg/L = 0.520mg/mL = 39mg/75ml
Even if a whole tube is swallowed, the Snow Pearl toothpaste is also in a child CAN'T toxic!
Why is Snow Pearl toothpaste still very effective?
With 530 ppm fluoride content, the SNOW PEARL gel toothpaste has a significantly lower fluoride concentration (only 36%) than other commercially available toothpastes. This dental care fulfills outstanding protection and repair functions thanks to the pioneering and patented formulation with calcium sodium fluorophosphosilicate. Its molecular characteristic is the excellent adhesion to the tooth surface, and that is exactly what makes it so effective. The particles of calcium sodium fluorophosphosilicate are dissolved very slowly by the saliva and therefore guarantee a sustained release of fluoride, calcium and phosphate for up to 12 hours. Fluorapatite is formed in the remineralization process, which regenerates the decalcified tooth enamel and makes it 10 times more resistant to acids and caries. The excellent effect against sensitive teeth is also beneficial and immediately noticeable.
✓ Low fluoride content with optimal protection.
✓ 12 hour controlled low level release of fluoride thanks to patented Swiss formulation with calcium sodium fluorophosphosilicate.
✓ Sustainably reduces your tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, sweet, sour and mechanical contact through stable closure of the dentine tubules.
✓ Repairs enamel at incipient caries lesions by generating an acid and caries resistant fluoride apatite surface.
✓ Increases the calcium and phosphate content in the enamel
I hope this has provided a little more clarity on the controversial topic of fluoride.
Of course, I am always available for questions
dr Lorenza Dahm