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Toothpaste Alternatives to Fluoride: Do They Work?

Although the benefits of fluoride on oral health have been proven time and again, it’s worth looking into toothpaste alternatives to fluoride. 

How effective are these fluoride-free products? The answer might surprise you. 

What is Fluoride? 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even air. For decades, it has been used successfully by dental professionals to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) requires that for a toothpaste to obtain the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance, it must contain fluoride. 

Concerns About Fluorosis 

Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that causes white spots to appear on a tooth’s surface. It occurs mostly in children under the age of 8, in their early years of growing and forming teeth. Typically, dental fluorosis is barely noticeable and does not impact oral health. Fluorosis is caused by consuming high amounts of fluoride, either in drinking water with above-safe levels of fluoride or by swallowing large amounts of toothpaste. 

Adults cannot develop dental fluorosis. Because young children are most at risk, it is common for toddler and child toothpastes to be fluoride-free. 

Fluoride Alternatives 

Though fluoride has numerous oral health benefits, anything in large doses can be harmful. This may lead you to wonder what other options are out there. Though nothing can or should fully replace your use of fluoride, here are some of the common substitutes: 

● Vitamin D – individuals with higher amounts of Vitamin D typically have fewer cavities 

● Citric Acid – helps reduce the tartar buildup on teeth 

● Baking Soda – a commonly used to whiten teeth, remove stains and fight plaque 

● Coconut Oil – may help fight bacteria in the mouth 

Though there are several kinds of toothpaste containing a combination of these and other alternative products, there’s been little to no research on their effectiveness compared to the scientifically proven fluoride. In fact, studies show that without fluoride, oral hygiene efforts have no impact on cavity rates. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Are you concerned about your oral care routine or wondering if toothpaste alternatives to fluoride might work for you? We always recommend sticking with a fluoridated toothpaste, but if you’d like to discuss your options with a professional, we are here to help. 

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons will help you find an oral health plan that meets your needs and keeps your mouth healthy and happy. We truly care about each of our patients and strive to offer the time and care that you deserve. 

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, Tooele, and South Jordan. Schedule your free consultation today. 


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