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Fluoride Free Toothpaste -- First Impression

When I first heard some people use fluoride free toothpaste my reaction was, "...why?" Fluoride is what makes toothpaste good for your teeth, right? That's what I'd always thought. It turns out that the answer is a little more complicated than I'd thought.

First of all, fluoride is good for your teeth as it prevents cavities. There's just a tiny downside: the fact that it can be toxic. Now, before you freak out, a person has to ingest a lot of it before any proven effects are seen, let alone enough to poison you. Research on the exact effects of fluoride is divided, and while there are many claims about its dangers, there are few proven to have a significant connection. But the general consensus is that too much is bad for you. Just the little bit you absorb through your mouth when brushing your teeth shouldn't be an issue. However, the problem is that about 72% of Americans are getting fluoride in their drinking water (source of statistic), which means having it in toothpaste and other dental products can potentially expose people to dangerous levels of the chemical. (By the way, links to all my sources are at the bottom of this post, you don't just have to take my word for it.)

One of the proven effects of too much fluoride, ironically enough, is, "discoloration or pitting on the teeth. It may appear as brown spots, scattered white specks or white spots. The teeth may even feel rough," as states (quote source). So too much of what's good for my teeth...isn't good for my teeth? Great. I've never really been concerned that I've been getting too much fluoride, even though I know it's in my local tap water, but I decided to take a look in the mirror just to see if I was showing signs of having too much in my system. Guess what I found?
Discolouration in the form of white spots.
I've had these spots on my teeth for a long time, at least since I was around 8 or 9-ish. When they first appeared I had wondered what they were, but my dentist never said anything about them, so I never really worried. Now my leading theory is that I'm getting too much of a toxic substance in my system, enough that it's actually showing an effect. My regular tube of toothpaste was running low, so in my next Prime Pantry box I ordered some of the fluoride free variety.

I chose this one from Tom's because it's all natural, and cinnamint sounded tasty.

It showed up yesterday afternoon, so I used it both last night and this morning. So far, I'm pretty pleased with it. I was right, cinnamint is super yummy, but besides the taste, there is a different feeling to fluoride-free toothpaste. 

When I brush my teeth with this, I don't feel like I'm chemically white washing them. It doesn't feel like everything, no matter if it's good or bad, is being harshly stripped away from my teeth. It's a difficult feeling to describe because until I used this I didn't realize normal toothpaste felt this way. The feeling of brushing my teeth was just the feeling of brushing my teeth. After trying this, fluoride toothpaste seems to have a harsh feeling, while this has a gentler scrub to it. 
Don't get me wrong, my mouth still feels clean afterwards. My breath has been as fresh as it typically is throughout the day. Honestly, as far as getting the job done, I don't feel much of a difference in quality. 

My first impression of fluoride-free toothpaste is that it's effective, but gentle. Then again, I live in a region with fluoride in my water, so I don't really have to worry about not getting it. I see this as a variation of a product that will work for some and won't for others. However, I wish it was a more common variation. 



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