Fluoride-Free Dentistry: What To Look For

Updated: May 23

Are you looking for a more holistic approach to taking care of your teeth? You may need to look for a fluoride-free dentist and here is what to expect.



Table of Contents:



What is a fluoride free dentist?

A fluoride-free dentist is a dentist that has embraced the philosophy of eliminating fluoride from your oral health care. They strive to provide care that is consistent with that belief. They will make choices such as choosing fluoride-free products at their dental office and recommending alternative options.



What products in dentistry contain fluoride?

The most obvious dental product that contains fluoride would be your toothpaste but there are quite a handful of other materials that you may not be aware of. Here is a list of fluoride containing dental materials and products.

  • Toothpaste

  • Mouthwash

  • Floss

  • Certain types of cavity fillings. There are some composite fillings that have fluoride incorporated in them and are used in teeth that are more prone to tooth decay. It is not the standard filling material but may be used for certain situations.

  • Core build ups. This is used to fill back in the cavity after a root canal.

  • Dental cements or glue. These are the cements that are used to glue in your dental crowns and veneers.

  • Fluoride varnish. This is direct topical application of fluoride and used mainly on kids. It has a very sticky consistency that will stay on your teeth for 24 hours. Insurances will stop covering this procedure once your child passes the age of 13. So, age thirteen is when you stop getting fluoride at the dentist.

  • Prophy polishing paste. This is typically what is used at the end of a dental cleaning to polish your teeth. It is very similar to toothpaste.

Last but not least, do not forget that most dental offices are plumbed to connect with the local community water supply. This means that if your dentist is located in a fluoridated water supply, the office will naturally be using fluoridated water.


If you are looking for a fluoride free dentist, you should locate a dental practice that is in a non-fluoridated community. You can do this by searching the CDC website.



Is fluoride treatment necessary for teeth?

You may be surprised but fluoride is not necessary for teeth. Your teeth will grow and develop just fine without any of it. They won't fall out or become decayed just because there is no fluoride. Cavities developing has much more to do with your oral hygiene routine and your eating habits than anything else. If you indulge by eating sweet treats all day long, no amount of fluoride will save your teeth!


Since it is unnecessary, you can always refuse fluoride at the dentist and this goes for your child as well. Some people may feel like the fluoride treatment is not worth it because they simply don't think they need it. This is true for those who are at low risk for cavities.


Why do dentists push fluoride?

Just because it is not necessary for teeth, it does not mean that it is not beneficial for them. Dentists encourage the use of fluoride because it helps to strengthen the teeth.


Your teeth are made out of hydroxyapatite but when your tooth enamel comes into contact with a fluoride ion, it transforms into fluorapatite. This new substance is what strengthens your teeth and it does so by this.

  • Increased hardness.

  • Increased stability.

  • Decreased solubility to acid attacks.

What this means is that your tooth is now more resistant to cavities. This is an additional benefit that may decrease the chances of you getting a cavity. It will subsequently lower your risk for tooth decay but not everyone may want or need this. For an individual who is not prone to tooth decay, this benefit may not be much of a benefit.


Once again, it depends on the individual and it has a lot to do with their eating and brushing habits.



What are fluoride free alternative products?

For the products used in a dental office, choosing an alternative is easy because there are plenty of fluoride free dental materials. In fact, most of them do not come standardized with fluoride. The only ones that routinely come with it are the prophy paste and the varnish. Aside from that, most do not contain any of the substance.


That is out of your control and has everything to do with your dentist but if you chose a fluoride-free dentist, it shouldn't be an issue. What is in your control is choosing what floss, mouthwash, and toothpaste to use. Remember to pick one that does not contain it. The product with the most alternative varieties would be the oral dentrifice section, your toothpaste.


Here are some alternative toothpastes:


What is the best fluoride-free toothpaste?

Out of all of those products listed above, the best fluoride free toothpaste has to be the nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste. This is the only one that can achieve a similar result to what fluoride does. It can reverse cavities because it contains a lot of calcium and phosphate ions which are the building blocks for enamel remineralization. The charcoal and xylitol are unable to achieve this effect so we would not recommend those as an alternative.



Take away

If you are seeking fluoride-free dentistry, you need to find a dentist who has accepted the philosophy but you also need to make sure that their practice is located in a non-fluoridated community. Even if they have good intentions... all of the water they use will be contaminated with the substance.


Last but not least, if you do choose to go this route, at least use a hydroxyapatite toothpaste since it has the ability to reverse cavities! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our dentist in long island city.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!