Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Fluoride or non-fluoride toothpaste?

Gosh! A dilemma for me now eversince I got back from Dublin and seeing some TV ads of halal non-fluoride toothpaste and the contradicting ads from Colgate still advocating the importance of fluoride toothpaste and blaming the mother for not giving her son the fluoride toothpaste. The government should do something in regulating these confusing and probable misleading ads campaign.

Even the dentists seem to not have a clue on this issue. At a recent visit to the dentist for Rizal’s treatment, the receptionist handed Emmet a free gift of Pureen non-fluoride toothpaste for children complete with pamphlets explaining about the importance of not having fluoride in your toothpaste. Even I get a sample for pregnant ladies’ toothpaste, also non-fluoride. But when I checked out the clinic’s website, they still believe in fluoride in dental care. How confusing is that?

Apparently it is still a controversy and it is impossible to find facts and figures that can assure you on which to decide. Yet Malaysia is still mass medicating its inhibitants with fluoridated water supply when a lot of European countries have banned fluoride in water supply. Now, knowing Malaysia yang sungguh famous dengan it’s incompettence, how can we be assured that they did not ter-overdose us with fluoride? And then kept quiet about it?

And interestingly, there is no evidence or no difference actually in the reduced cases of cavities among countries that fluoridate their water supply and those that did not eversince it was introduced in the 1940s.

Alas, us mothers are left wondering what’s best for our children. Even if we seek advise from the dentist, how are we sure about the credibility of the dentist? Is he up to date with the current research and issues pertaining dental and oral care globaly?

Luckily, I think I am on the right track. I am not a fan of toothpaste anyway. I don’t squeeze on the toothbrush like they squeeze nicely and generously in the ads or on the box of the toothpaste. I probably use 1/20 of that amount. And for Emmet, I just calit the tip of the tiny brush, again about 1/20 of the pea size recommended by most dentist. Children will surely swallow when they first begin to learn to brush. Even Emmet sometimes ter-swallow.

That’s the dangerous part of the fluoride, apart from the fact that it is used in rat’s poison and other domestic cleaning agents in the market. We don’t have a meter like the weight scale or the digital thermometer to let us know what is the fluoride content in our body.

So I think for children, it is better to use non-fluoride toothpaste since it is safer to swallow. And if you notice, small children’s teeth are not that hard to clean nor are they as dirty as adults’. You just need to brush them properly and they are good to go.

As for Emmet, I ban all kinds of sweets and candy (allergy excuse comes in handy at these times). I also ban all types of junk food like Twisties and the likes. The only junk that he is excused to would be potato chips that contains only potato, vegetable oil and salt in the ingredients list. I hope he will carry this habit throughout his life, which is unlikely I think, once he enters kindergarten or standard 1. He might most probably be tempted seeing all his friends grovelling on all those carbonated drinks, junk food and sweets. Until that happens, I think I’ll stop thinking about it for now…


Asyie said...

i remember dolu2 mcm ada isu imported ubat gigi tak boleh masuk mesia kalau ada flouride.Due to halal thingy.So that's why most of the halal toothpaste tade flouride.I think.

tapi cikgu bio aku dulu kate, iklan dlm tv kata floride dlm ubat gigi tu tipu je.Gimmick je.Tak membantu menguatkan gigi pon.
haha dunno la lott.

tapi for Aisy, mmg aku tak bagi langsung tooth paste, just brush the teeth je and kami sekeluarga stick on halal toothpaste without floride unless dpt free toothpaste le haha.And I do like what you did, restrict sugary food for Aisy.Not due to her allergy but more to her hyperactive hehe.Too much sugar she'll become hyper.

farrahar said...

Here's what I learned. A little bit of fluoride is important for the health of the teeth. But if the kid still swallows his toothpaste, so it's better to use the non-fluoride ones.

I don't really bother with the halal non-halal toothpaste products. As long as takda babi sudah lah.

We're using Elken's toothpaste and loving it (for real! including the mouth wash and toothbrush), using natural ingredients, fluoride free, sugar free, and some other chemicals free.

Adam pun uses the same toothpaste, it's a little bit pedas but not as pedas as colgate but he's used to it. He can spit but sometimes he still swallows. My only concern is dia sometimes ada tendency to telan the air instead of spitting it out.

lott said...

Asyie: Betul tu aci, as long as gigi dia bersih i guess thats good enough kan.

Far: kau mmg sudah jadi Elken freak. ahahaha... but i think small kids and even babies know which is good and what isn't. sebab aku try yg non-flouride toothpaste kat Emmet, terus dia insist on using that toothpaste je. and i thought kodomo lion perisa strawberry tu dah sedap dah