Since the 1950s, fluoride has largely been touted as a great public health victory, an important factor in combating tooth decay. However, the use of fluoride in our water and in dentistry is a controversial topic. While it’s still widely used in dental practices across the United States, fluoride does not actually remineralize or rebuild teeth and there’s debate on whether fluoride does more harm than odd. 

At Julian Center for Toxic-Free Dentistry, we’re committed to holistic dentistry and providing our patients with comprehensive care designed to protect their total wellness. As such, we refrain from using products containing fluoride.


Fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally occurring in bones and teeth. Trace amounts can also be detected in water, soil, plants, and rocks. Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements found in nature, and in those commonly minuscule doses, it’s not harmful. But naturally occurring fluoride in high doses is not what you’ll find in toothpaste and tap water. 

There are two types of fluoride: systemic which is ingested and topical which is the type used in traditional dental practices. 

Systemic Fluoride

Systemic fluoride is ingested either through our public water sources or through tablets. Current research suggests that ingesting fluoride has more negative effects than positive and has been suspected to cause neurotoxicity in younger children.

Topical Fluoride

Topical fluoride binds to the surface of your teeth and acts as an acid-resistant, temporary barrier for the teeth. While it does kill oral bacteria, the effect is short-lived—lasting around 30 minutes and killing not only the decay-causing bacteria but also the naturally occurring bacteria that your teeth need.  Topical fluoride does act as a temporary barrier, but it does not strengthen the integrity of the enamel. Instead, it can prevent essential minerals from reaching the surfaces of your teeth. For some patients, this can cause their enamel to weaken and become more susceptible to decay.

Tooth decay is not a sign of fluoride deficiency and increasing exposure to fluoride offers low-quality protection against decay.
person holding a bottle of mouthwash with a magnifying glass which shows the word fluoride
woman holding a jar of coconut oil


During your consultation, Dr. Sambataro will provide you with information on healthy alternatives to fluoride and ways to naturally keep your mouth and body in good health. When you visit Julian Center for Toxic-Free Dentistry, you can trust that the fluoride alternatives we provide will keep your teeth healthy and clean. A few fluoride alternatives that can help strengthen tooth enamel include:

  • MI Paste
  • Calcium
  • Revitin
  • Tooth Builder Toothpaste
  • Xylitol
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fluoride-Free Mouthwash

If you have issues with persistent decay, Dr. Sambataro will also review your oral hygiene, diet, and nutrition in order to create a customized plan for preventing tooth decay. Eating a healthy diet full of mineral-rich foods and drinking plenty of water are also great ways to keep your mouth healthy, strengthen your teeth, and prevent tooth decay.


When did fluoride get added to water?

Fluoridation of community water was first considered for dental health in the early 1900s when dentist Frederick McKay noticed the mineral caused patients’ teeth to become more resistant to decay. In 1945, it was added to the public water supply after limited studies were performed only on rats. The US has put fluoride in the water ever since. 

The first fluoride toothpaste hit the market in 1956 when Crest toothpaste became the first cavity-prevention toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. Fluoride is incorporated into most toothpaste to this day. Unless the package explicitly states that it’s fluoride-free, you can rightfully assume it isn’t.

Is fluoride dangerous?

Too much of anything can be detrimental to your health, and fluoride is no different. While topical fluoride may reduce your risk of tooth decay, it is not an effective long-term solution for peak oral health. When large doses are ingested, fluoride can cause harm to the body. 

When applying topical fluoride, the chances of accidental ingestion are high. In tandem with our country’s fluoridated water, we’re concerned about our patients ingesting too much fluoride and have therefore devoted ourselves to maintaining a fluoride-free practice. 

Too much fluoride can lead to other health problems when ingested, such as:

  • Skeletal fluorosis, damage to bones and joints
  • Dental fluorosis, discolored or stained teeth
  • Thyroid problems, leading to a depletion of calcium in the bones
  • Neurological problems, especially in children (higher levels of fluoride in children have been linked to lower IQ test scores)
  • Acne
  • Reproductive problems
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease 

Our team at Julian Center for Toxic-Free Dentistry believes that a fluoride-free practice can benefit the entire body. With so many effective alternatives, there’s never a need to put your health at potential risk.