What Is Aluminum Fluoride? Chemical Makeup
Aluminum fluoride is a chemical compound with the formula AlF3. It’s a colorless solid that is soluble in water, and it’s often used in industry as a flux. It occurs in nature in the form of rosenbergite, which is a trihydrate of aluminum fluoride. When it comes to aluminum fluoride in toothpaste, it’s present at a concentration of 0.15% or less.
How Does Aluminum Fluoride Work in Toothpaste?
Just like other fluorides, this compound works to reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and it can lead to cavities. Fluorides work by helping to remineralize tooth enamel, which helps to prevent cavities. Some common ingredients are sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate.
Aluminum fluoride is much less prevalent in toothpaste than other fluorides, but it’s still an effective ingredient. It’s sometimes paired with other fluorides, such as stannous fluoride, in order to increase its efficacy.
Is Aluminum Fluoride Safe?
There is some controversy surrounding aluminum fluoride, as some people believe that it’s unsafe. The scientific article Screening of Human Proteins for Fluoride and Aluminum Binding published in Bioinformation in 2018 suggests that this compound can react with oxygen to form aluminum oxide, which in turn is found in Alzheimer patients’ brains.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that this research is in its early stages, and aluminum fluoride has been used safely in toothpaste for many years. The link between aluminum compounds and neurodegenerative diseases is a correlation rather than a causation. In other words, more research is needed to confirm this connection.
In 2020, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) published their opinion that aluminum fluoride and other aluminum compounds are safe for use in cosmetics. They’re unlikely to be absorbed through the skin, and they don’t pose a risk to human health.
Even oral care products containing this compound are considered safe, as aluminum fluoride is quickly excreted from the body. Most of the unsafe aluminum intake comes from drinking water and food, rather than from toothpaste.
Should You Avoid Toothpaste With Aluminum Fluoride?
Based on the available evidence, aluminum fluoride is a safe and effective ingredient in toothpaste. It’s added to it in very low concentrations, and it won’t be absorbed by your body anywhere as effectively as it would if you ingested it with food or water.
If you’re concerned about your aluminum intake, you can avoid aluminum fluoride by using toothpaste without it. It’s not difficult at all – most fluoride toothpastes don’t contain aluminum. You can also look for aluminum-free deodorants, as aluminum chloride is often used as an antiperspirant.
Other Uses of Aluminum Fluoride
Aluminum fluoride is used in a variety of industries, such as aluminum production, aluminum smelting, and glass manufacturing. It’s also used as a catalyst and to inhibit fermentation. In addition, it can be used as a low-index optical thin film when far UV transparency is required.
Conclusion: It’s Just Another Fluoride
In short, aluminum fluoride is a safe and effective ingredient in toothpaste. It’s added in very low concentrations, and it’s not absorbed by your body as effectively as other aluminum compounds. It’s there for the same reasons as other fluorides – to help reduce plaque and prevent cavities. If you’re concerned about aluminum intake, you can easily find aluminum-free toothpaste.
Do you have any other questions about aluminum fluoride? Leave a comment below!
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