Fluoride or Fluoride Free?
If you have ever taken the time to read the label of your tube of toothpaste, you may have seen the following:
“WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”
It is a little surprising since toothpaste is commonly thought to be one of the safest things we use. It is also alarming because children’s toothpastes are available in tasty flavors like bubble gum, strawberry and watermelon; and as a result, much of it is swallowed. The warning appears because as of April 7th, 1997, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has required that all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. carry a poison warning on the label.
The Journal of Dental Research has determined that 5 mg of fluoride per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of bodyweight is a potentially fatal dose*. This is “the minimum dose that could cause toxic signs and symptoms, including death, and that should trigger immediate therapeutic intervention and hospitalization… This does not mean that doses lower than 5.0 mg F/kg should be regarded as innocuous.” For the average two year old weighing 26 pounds, that would be 60mg of fluoride (found in about two ounces of toothpaste.) The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) points out that “If not monitored, children may easily swallow over four times the recommended daily amount of fluoride in toothpaste.”
For adherants of the “precautionary principal”, we respect your commitment to fluoride free products. We also understand that some may benefit from the use of fluoridated products. Therefore, we offer oral hygiene products with and without fluoride so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
* Journal of Dental Research 1987; 66:1056-1060