Fluoride is one of the most debated topics in the world of dentistry. You’ve probably heard a little from both sides: on the one hand, that fluoride is not necessary, and on the other, that fluoride is good for your oral health.
Here’s the truth: when used correctly, fluoride poses no threat to overall health. Instead, it benefits oral health and helps prevent cavities.
What Is Fluoride And Where Does It Come From?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, water and food. It is widespread and abundant in nature. Synthetic fluoride is produced for use in drinking water and dental hygiene products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses and various chemical products.
What Products Contain Fluoride?
Fluoride is found in dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, some dental floss, cement and fillings, gels and varnishes. Many products are enriched with fluoride because, according to the Pakistan Dental Association, it prevents tooth decay by about 20-40% and reduces tooth decay in patients of all ages. As a result, fluoride use can save time and money on costly procedures to restore decayed teeth.
Fluoride In Water
Many regions also use water fluoridation to help limit dental problems. In is proved from study, when fluoride was added to the water supply, children had 35 per cent fewer decayed, missing or filled milk teeth and there was a 15 per cent increase in the number of children with no decayed milk teeth.
How Does Fluoride Work?
- Changes the development of enamel in children up to 7 years of age, making it more resistant to acid.
- Creating an environment in which better quality enamel is formed, which helps to withstand acid exposure.
- Reduces the ability of bacteria to produce acid in dental plaque.
All these benefits help protect and strengthen tooth enamel to prevent tooth decay and costly dental problems.
Is There A Risk Associated With Fluoride?
As with any other substance you use in your body, the key is to use it in moderation. Although fluoride has been shown to have a beneficial effect on tooth decay, there are side effects that occur when too much fluoride is ingested.
Most of us do not need to worry about consuming too much fluoride, as water fluoridation regulations and the safe amount used in dental hygiene products have been established. The most common side effect of fluoride is temporary white spots or streaks on teeth that have been exposed to too much fluoride. This does not harm the teeth but is considered a cosmetic problem. These marks often disappear over time.
Small amounts of fluoride are unlikely to be dangerous, and more than 100 countries and international health and other organizations recognize the benefits of adding safe levels of fluoride to water and dental products.
Should I Use Fluoride?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have different standards for how much fluoride can be added to water to safely protect teeth, but we know that each of these rules protects people from the harm of too much fluoride. We better follow the CDC guidelines.
Overall, the guaranteed benefits outweigh the potential risks, and we should consider fluoride our friend.
If you are concerned about fluoride treatment at the dentist, feel free to ask your dentist about ways to protect your teeth from cavities. Using toothpaste, mouthwashes and other dental hygiene products that contain fluoride is a great way to start.
For more information on healthy fluoride use, schedule an appointment with us or call to book an appointment.