Toothpaste is an extremely effective way of delivering fluoride topically to the surfaces of your teeth and is important for helping your teeth to withstand daily wear and tear. Unfortunately, your teeth may be getting less fluoride than you think due to factors in your toothpaste reducing the bioavailability of fluoride.
One of the biggest factors influencing the fluoride bioavailabilty is simply time. The longer your toothpaste sits on the shelf after it is manufactured, the more time there is for fluoride to combine with ingredients in your toothpaste like abrasives, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), etc. which reduce the overall fluoride content and effectiveness of your toothpaste. Studies being conducted have shown that this reduction in fluoride availability can occur rapidly over the first few months after toothpaste is manufactured. This occurs even before your toothpaste reaches its expiration date.
Not only should you look for toothpastes that exclude ingredients reduce fluoride bioavailability like SLS, but you might also consider buying toothpaste in smaller containers at more frequent intervals so that your toothpaste stays fresh. This simple trick will help your teeth stay strong and is especially important for individuals at a high risk for cavities.