What do most people worldwide do twice a day? Each day? 365 days a year?
The answer is: brush their teeth.
In the modern world, communication has become one of the most important skills. Most of us have to communicate often each day, so an interlocutor’s smile is what attracts attention first of all. In this reality, well-conditioned white teeth have become an attribute of beauty, health, and success. It is not just a fashionable trend or a whim. If a smile is a mirror of one’s soul, it is our teeth that tell about our age and health.
The interest in dental and oral health increases each year in Russia. The International Moscow Dental Forum & Exhibition twice a year attracts thousands of visitors, and the last expo in September 2019 was no exception.
The new generation of teeth whitening products as well as toothpastes containing no fluorine attracted special interest among specialists and ordinary people visiting the expo.
What do rat poison and toothpaste have in common?
The answer is fluoride. This substance is toxic enough to be used as rat poison. In 2014 it was documented as a neurotoxin that could be harmful for child development, along with ten other industrial chemicals, including lead, arsenic, and toluene.
“Fluoride is NOT an essential element for human growth and development, and for most organisms in the environment,” began an official review on fluoride and fluoridating agents published by the EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks.
But the water authorities in some countries continue to add fluoride to the municipal water supply, because the studies conducted decades ago have shown that water fluoridation can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay. Dentists all over the world prescribe fluorine-containing toothpastes to people of all ages. In four previous decades, soluble fluorine salts were widely used for cavity prevention.
Today, evidence of fluoride’s toxicity is entering the public sphere, and Russia is no exception in this regard. Some concerns have arisen regarding its effect on health, including neurological development, acne, and problems with bones and teeth. It may also be harmful for the environment.
Is there really no alternative?
The answer to this question may be obtained only in the direct comparative study of efficacy of other compositions. The clinical study, conducted under the leadership of professor A.A. Kunin (2005), stated that it is possible to protect teeth from the destructive effect of acid without fluorine.
Andrey Akulovich, PhD, a British Dental Bleaching Society Gold member and editor-in-chief of the Esthetic Dentistry journal, said, “After tooth enamel is formed, the effectiveness of fluorides for cavity prevention decreases. That’s why the use of fluoride-containing toothpastes for adults doesn’t make big sense, all the more that there’s a risk of overdose with fluoride”.
Russian-founded DRC Group has taken studies on fluoride use into account as well as conducted their own research to invent an innovative remineralising oral care system (ROCS) that contains no fluorine. As an alternative to fluoride, a set of minerals containing biologically available calcium, magnesium, and phosphate is used as well as unique low-temperature technology that helps to store all natural ingredients and make them work. The clinical studies and laboratory tests, which were carried out under the supervision of the World Health Organisation, have proven that these products cope with the task of protecting teeth, and maybe even better then the toothpastes containing fluorine.
Fluoride-free products began to attract interest several years ago, and now Russian consumers have a rich selection of fluoride-free products in the main supermarket chains, meaning there is no need to spend time looking for non-fluorine toothpastes in special eco markets.
“During the last ten years we’ve indicated a growing interest to the dental care products containing no fluorides,” said Alexey Lapitskiy, head of the Global Marketing Department at DRC Group. This fact can be confirmed by ROCS toothpastes ranking third in oral care products sales in Russia in 2018, according to statistics from AC Nielsen.
The only disadvantage of such products is their price. The reason is that producing a toothpaste that can cope with cavities and doesn’t contain fluorine is not a simple task due to special technical difficulties.
“We use low-temperature homogenisation technology to produce toothpastes, due to the high concentration of natural active ingredients that can lose their effectiveness at high temperatures” Alexey explained, adding that “this procedure takes 4.5 times longer compared with the fluorine-containing toothpaste production.”
Higher prices for alternative products and general lack of awareness and understanding of the negative effects of fluoride have slowed down sales growth and influence among customers in the Russian market.
But the use of healthy and eco friendly alternatives in everyday life is becoming more and more crucial in the modern world, and this fact sooner or later should be taken into account by the manufacturers. Awareness can influence demand, and demand creates its own supply.
However, most people in Russia and worldwide still use toothpastes containing fluorine. Each day. Twice a day. 365 days a year.