Sodium Monofluorophosphate

What is it?

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

What does it do?

Sodium monofluorophosphate in toothpaste safely and effectively helps to prevent tooth decay, when formulated correctly and used as directed. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and helps remineralize 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 monofluorophosphate, sodium metaphosphate is combined with sodium fluoride. The sodium metaphosphate is a result of reacting phosphoric acid (from phosphoric rock) with sodium hydroxide (from brine). The sodium fluoride is from hydrogen fluoride (derived from fluorspar) which has been neutralized with sodium hydroxide.

What are the alternatives?

Fluoride helps prevent cavities and remineralize tooth enamel. There are three main types of fluoride: sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride, and stannous fluoride used in most toothpaste formulations. 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 monofluorophosphate is recognized as safe and effective as an anti-cavity agent in oral care products. The safety of fluoride has been reviewed extensively by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, 2003), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2005, 2008), the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products (SCCNFP, 2003), the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP, 2005), and International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC, 2002).

Most of the concerns raised about fluoride have stemmed from controversy surrounding the fluoridation of municipal drinking water supplies. 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.