Japan’s unfluoridated water is not the cause of caries

By on September 11, 2015

In the past, it was observed that in areas with high natural fluoride levels in water, people had reduced caries. So it became a concept that if water fluoridation and fluoride in toothpaste were added, it would prevent tooth decay. It was believed that oral dousing permits fluoride to safeguard the tooth enamel.

The U.S. and some countries in Europe such as Ireland, Poland, Spain, and the U.K. fluoridate their water. However, Japan, together with 97% of the West European population, do not. This is due to the lack of compelling evidence to prove that fluoridated water prevents caries.

In a study by the European Union Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, (The Safety of Fluorine Compounds in Oral Hygiene Products for Children Under the Age of 6), fluoride’s efficacy in toothpaste for oral hygiene was found acceptable. But the same study concludes that there’s a risk of fluorosis or chronic condition that disturbs the tooth enamel of small children (ages 1-8) overexposed to fluoride.

The researchers said that ‘a maximum permitted concentration of 0.15% (1500 ppm) fluorine does not pose a safety concern when used by children under the age of 6 years.’

Therefore, parents in Japan should not be concerned by ingestion of or overexposure to fluoridated water.  Still, parents should supervise their children when they brush their teeth.

The EU’s scientific committee recommends using just a ‘pea size’’ of toothpaste for kids under the age of 6.

Early Oral Hygiene Training

Practising oral hygiene at an early age with the help of an appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste is good routine for small children. However, toddlers do not have enough manual dexterity to brush their teeth by themselves and so parents should start introducing the routine by guiding them slowly until they have acquired the skill.

What is a good toothbrush for toddlers you might ask? Japanese drugstores sell a wide range of toothbrushes designed for toddlers. But what you should look out for in a toddler-appropriate tooth brush is size, texture and design. Opt for soft bristles and one designed for soft, tiny hands for easy grip.

Lion Checkup Gel kodomoLion, a leading Japanese toothpaste brand has a kid-friendly formula with enhanced fluorine retention. Dent Check Up Kodomo is kind to toddler’s teeth and gums, and requires just a small amount to foam. Flavors in strawberry, apple and grape. Available at most Japanese






About Marlow Hauser