Thursday, 16 February 2012

Health: Brushing with Toothpaste Containing Flouride or Not?

I have attempted to brush Tiger's teeth several times in the past.
He's had his molars since 4 months..
He would suck on the rubber bristle (thinking that it was food) and throw the brush away.

I bought the Pigeon brand set of three (6-36 months) loooong ago.
I love that it came with a shield to prevent Tiger from eliciting his gag reflex.



I research practically everything before I buy them for Tiger, in this case toothpaste as well.
I check for parental feedback on his stuff on Amazon.com before I make a purchase.
Save a lot of money this way.

There has been a lot debate on the fluoride issue.

Here's the gist of what I found:

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that also happens to prevent tooth decay. Hence it is added into toothpaste.

Is there fluoride in Malaysian water?
In Malaysia, our water has undergone fluoridation since 1972. Thanks to Singapore. It is a long story....
Anyways, our local levels are targeted at 0.7 ppm (ppm/part per million is like 1 sen in RM 10,000, so it is very little). This is also the level recommended by the CDC, Atlanta.

Why do we need fluoride in our water?
It is the cheapest & effective way to prevent tooth decay in all ages. Not everyone can afford toothpaste, you know?
You can read more from the Malaysian Malaysian Association

Anyway, is our water fluoride within the safe limit?
According to a published study done in 2009 by Syazwan et al
They found that the fluoride levels in Selangor (where I live) is at 0.71 plus minus. 
I hope nothing changed too drastically in the past 3 years.

What happens if there is too much fluoride?
If it is a little too much, you may get some not so appealing white spots/streaks on your teeth.
It is way over the moon too much, like in some regions of China where fluoride is high naturally, you can get bony deformities.

How the heck do our children get too much fluoride then?
By swallowing toothpaste containing fluoride! In Malaysia, most of the junior brands contain fluoride. I also remember swallowing quite a lot of KODOMO, especially the strawberry flavoured ones.

So, it is recommended that you use one pearl size glob of toothpaste, twice a day and make sure your kiddo SPIT it out! Then your kiddo should be alright =)

Update: 

Pureen brand has toothpaste for kids that is fluoride free. Price: RM 2.80 only for 40g. 
Reader, Jade recommended First Teeth BUT so it was RM25! Almost 10x the price *faint*. Since the Pureen Brand has been approved by Malaysian Dental Association, I guess it wouldn't be that bad. 

Teach your kid to spit. When they are pros at spitting, then switch to flouride toothpaste. Common sense la.

There is a new children's dental clinic opening soon in EMPIRE shopping gallery next to Toys R Us. Will write a review after we visit. Children are encouraged to see the dentist for annual check-ups after the age of two. (American Paediatrician Association)

Check your water filtration system and see if filters out flouride. We are using Espring, so flouride is spared.



Brush!

Finally getting it!

Cleaning his tongue too ^.^
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