Is fluoride good or bad?
Low levels of fluoride are naturally present in most mineral waters and are also often added to potable water to reduce the level of tooth decay.
Our view is that small amounts of fluoride, released slowly over time, can have a therapeutic benefit of enhanced resistance to acid attack and decay. However, we accept that excessive levels of fluoride can create health risks resulting in fluorosis; typically indicated by a permanent mottled appearance of the tooth (although there can be other causes).
The exact mechanisms behind fluorosis are not widely understood. It is known that in the presence of excessive fluoride, fluorite (Caf2) crystals can form rather than forming fluoridated apatite or fluorapatite.
BioMin F uses relatively low levels of fluoride, most supermarket and pharmacy brands are between 1,400 to 1,500 parts per million (ppm). BioMin F has almost 60% less at less than 600 ppm. BioMin F has a unique mechanism for the delivery of fluoride, the reason why it can use significantly less fluoride than competitive brands whilst actually increasing the therapeutic window (the time fluoride delivers a benefit).
Fluorapatite is more resistant to acid than natural enamel, hence it gives greater protection against acid attack.
The minimum therapeutic concentration of fluoride is about 1ppm (the same level typically added to drinking water). At this concentration, direct fluorapatite formation is thought to occur.
Conventional toothpastes use a soluble fluoride, which after brushing onto the teeth is rapidly washed away. The fluoride concentration in the saliva falls exponentially with time. In contrast, BioMin™ F technology uses a much lower level of fluoride that is delivered in a controlled manner over a period of 12 hours after brushing.
The image below shows the soluble fluoride decrease (light blue dots) over time compared to the fluoride release of BioMin™ F toothpaste over the same time period (green line).
This view is very much in line with that of world-renowned caries expert, Prof Ten Cate (Netherlands), who states:
“Low Concentrations of Fluoride have a beneficial effect on enamel and dentine remineralisation. After fluoride treatments such as topical applications rinses or dentifrices, salivary Fluoride concentrations decrease exponentially in a biphasic manner to insignificant concentrations within a few hours.”
“For treatments to be effective longer than the brushing and salivary clearance, Fluoride needs to be deposited and slowly released.”
Benefits of fluorapatite
Fluorapatite is more resistant to acid than tooth enamel (hydroxyapatite) and hence gives greater protection against acid attack. Conventional toothpaste introduces fluoride during brushing, however, the fluoride rapidly diminishes at an exponential rate.