“Fluoride affects significantly more than brushing your teeth to yourself”

Always preach to parents that sugar eats black holes in the teeth, but the Problem is not the sugar itself. Debt-to-small bacteria, which eat it with ice cream, chocolate or Baguette instead. Before the Treats in the direction of the stomach, Hiking, decompose in the mouth, a small part of the contained sugar and other simple carbohydrates. In the process, they produce the fatal substance: acid.

Even if the teeth are surrounded by the hardest Material of the body, tooth enamel, not you alone against the acids. Without good care, it comes only to small gaps, which result in painful holes. The best, but among critics, the most underrated support against tooth decay is not brushing your teeth, but it is a trace element that occurs in the teeth, too, of course: the fluoride.

Fluoride prevents about 40 percent of the tooth decay cases

“Who is cleaning his teeth today with a good, fluoride toothpaste, can alone be prevented by the fluoride around 40 percent of the tooth decay cases,” says Stefan Zimmer, head of the University of Witten Herdecke, chair for dental preservation, and Preventive dentistry. “In this case, the fluoride affects the teeth brushing itself.”

In the case of fluoride is a trace element that is found everywhere in our environment, in water and in food. Already in 1802, researchers found that in human teeth fluorides are; In 1850, scientists were able to prove that fluoride-containing melt acid is more resistant. Today, researchers know in Detail how the trace element protects the teeth against caries.

In spite of their hardness, the surface of the tooth enamel consists of a grid whose gaps minerals are stored. Acid also dissolves these minerals, it is a first small hole, which can develop into dental caries more arises. Fluoride counteracts the same in various Ways. It comes with the tooth enamel in contact, stores it self in the grid. In addition, it facilitates the installation of the minerals and lays like a Film on the Tooth, so that acids can not penetrate only up to the melting through.

Higher dosage, better effect

For the effect of the fluoride does not need to be swallowed by adults, it acts in the oral cavity, when it meets the Tooth. Studies have shown that the amount of Fluoride in tooth pastes, the protective function is increasing. For this reason, the tooth should consist of pasta for an adult to be at least 0.1 percent fluoride. It is even better if the proportion is close to the limit value of 0.15 percent. In these dosages, moderate use is fine, no risk to overdose the trace element.

“Still ten to 15 years, many manufacturers have not exhausted the possible framework and only 0.1 per cent or less of fluoride in the toothpastes given,” says Zimmer. Today, tooth-pastes in the section contained about 20 percent more fluoride than at the time – in part because institutions such as the Stiftung Warentest had repeatedly pointed to the positive effect.

The way to get success in tooth decay statistics. During 1990 any twelve-year-old in Germany had an average of four caries of teeth, it was in 2006, only 0.7. “This success is not, of course, pastes alone on fluoride tooth, but on the overall, in Germany much better made prophylaxis due. But Fluoride toothpastes have certainly made an important contribution,” says Zimmer. “The genes play in caries much of a role.”

Fluoridated Salt: By The Way, Care?

In addition to the fluoridated toothpaste drugstore markets, pharmacies and dentists often offer special mouth rinses, and gels with fluoride. “This is only necessary if the risk of Caries can be alone with the toothpaste does not dominate,” says Zimmer. “If the dentist, in spite of regular brushing their teeth every Time have to drill.” Crowded teeth or fixed dental braces can be some of the reasons for an increased risk of Caries.

Anyone who wants to protect his teeth each time you eat, you can also use salt that has been enriched for the purpose with fluoride and can buy it even at many discount stores. “The advantage is that the salt always comes directly to the teeth, if one eats something, and enough carbohydrates for the bacteria are there,” says Zimmer. The fluoride quantities in the salt do not be so low that you damage despite swallowed, the then competent Federal Institute back in 1999.

However, tooth should be worried talk to your doctor, if you want to use in addition to salt and toothpaste other fluoridated products. In the case of a permanent and extreme Overdosage (10 to 25 milligrams of fluoride per day for more than ten years), bone and teeth damage to. In the case of a normal diet and a normal cosmetic use, however, this is hardly possible With the toothpaste adults come up to 0,72 milligrams of fluoride per day, the salt contains 0.25 milligrams per gram is significantly less than the amount that would make you sick.


In the case of children with a special risk of Overdose in comparison to the adults: While your teeth are forming in the jaw, can install in the body to fluoride via the bloodstream into the tooth enamel. Then it comes to relatively small Overdoses (to 0.1 milligrams of fluoride per kilogram of body weight and day instead of the recommended 0.05 mg fluoride) can accumulate the trace element in larger amounts in the tooth enamel and leaves behind white clouds or fine lines. The teeth that does not harm, it is a purely cosmetic Problem.

From the age of six years, when the first permanent Tooth has broken through, is banned the risk of dental fluorosis in the rule. At this age, children should use a normal Adult toothpaste. In this point, the physicians in Germany are agreed. About what is for pre-school children, argue, however, dentists and pediatricians. Even in the treatment guidelines they could not agree on a recommendation.

To a age special Children’s toothpaste with a lower fluoride content (0.05 percent) for children in pre-school. In addition, there are special prescription fluoride tablets for small children, to be sucked and swallowed.

The dentists recommend that as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through, children of the day with a thin Film of a Children’s toothpaste to brush the teeth, and from the age of two years, twice a day with a pea-sized amount to use. Special fluoride tablets for small children are, therefore, not necessary, as the fluoride active with the Little one in the first line on the surface of the tooth and the children were otherwise unnecessary final.

The German children’s doctors have a different view: In the studies had so far not clearly demonstrated that such a low amount of Fluoride in Children’s toothpastes the teeth Sagittarius, it means in your section. Also swallowed small children are always a part of the toothpaste, and this was a cosmetic and not a food. For this reason, they recommend to give to children instead of the fluoride tablets, the fluoride ends up in the body. For this reason, parents should dispense fluoridated salts.

Abroad, the doctors have already found a different solution: in the USA, it is recommended to clean small children from two years with the lowest amounts of toothpaste with 0.1% fluoride or more teeth, then the effect is proven to be safe. The European food safety authority considers this approach also in children under six years of age is safe.