Sodium Fluoride

What is it?

Sodium fluoride is one of three main types of fluoride used in oral health products in Canada to help prevent dental cavities.

What does it do?

Sodium fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash safely and effectively helps to prevent tooth decay, when formulated correctly and used as directed. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and helps remineralize tooth enamel and penetrates tooth enamel to help rebuild weak spots.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

In its free elemental form, fluoride is a trace mineral (like iodine) called fluorine. Fluoride can be found in both fresh and sea water, in food (e.g., fish, tea), and in the bones of our bodies. In nature, it is found only in compound forms, such as the ore fluorspar (calcium fluoride) in soil and rock. To form sodium fluoride, hydrogen fluoride (derived from fluorspar) is neutralized by sodium hydroxide from brine, and dried into a powder.

What are the alternatives?

There are three types of fluoride that help fight cavities: sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride, and stannous fluoride. Tom’s of Maine uses two types of fluoride, depending on product formulation and what can and cannot be used with certain ingredients. We believe that toothpastes with fluoride are best to support one's oral health for strong and healthy enamel. We respect that not everyone wants fluoride in their oral care products, which is why we also offer natural toothpastes and mouthwashes without fluoride so consumers can choose what is best for their families and fits their values.  We feel it is important to offer individuals a choice and trust that they will work with their dental care professionals to establish an oral care regimen that is right for them.

Is this the right option for me?

Sodium fluoride is safe and effective as an anti-cavity agent in oral care products. Most of the concerns raised about fluoride have stemmed from controversy surrounding the fluoridation of drinking water. The question of mass fluoridation of public water is an entirely separate issue from including fluoride in toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is applied directly to the surface of the teeth, delivers a benefit, and is immediately rinsed out.

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.