In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, Philippe Hujoel, a dentist and University of Washington professor, holds a toothbrush and toothpaste as he poses for a photo in an office at the school in Seattle. Dental health experts worry that more people are using toothpaste that skips the most important ingredient - the fluoride - and leaves them at a greater risk of cavities. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Experts question benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste

August 07, 2018 - 8:08 am

Dental health experts worry that more people are using toothpaste that doesn't contain fluoride, putting them at a greater risk of cavities.

Most toothpastes already contain fluoride, and health authorities recognize it as a cavity blocker. But the internet is dotted with claims, largely from "natural" toothpaste marketers and alternative medicine advocates, that fluoride-free toothpaste also prevents cavities.

A review of dental studies released this week finds otherwise. The University of Washington study concludes that, without fluoride, neither brushing nor flossing prevents cavities.

Dentist Matthew Messina, a spokesman for the American Dental Association, says the study is important because it supports the organization's recommendation to use using toothpastes containing fluoride.

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