Last month I talked about fluoride and its importance in reducing decay in teeth. Having fluoride available topically and systemically has scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness in this regard.
As with any chemical or any government supported entity, there are controversies with fluoride. If you Google “fluoride” you will get information supporting fluoride, as well as many sites talking about the controversies.
The majority of the negativity surrounds the addition of fluoride to public water systems. Many claim that adding fluoride to the water is in essence poisoning the population. I have read many of these articles. A few of them have some valid concerns. However, I have not read anything that changes my mind about the benefits of the proper levels of fluoride.
You will notice I said “proper levels”. It is absolutely true that high levels of fluoride can be detrimental to your teeth. Too much fluoride in growing teeth causes fluorosis. Fluorosis gives teeth a mottled look. They will be yellow or even brown and have a pitted appearance. Fluorosis occurs in areas where the natural fluoride levels are too high. This is why we insist that well water be tested before we prescribe a fluoride supplement. Fluorosis can also occur when a child swallows too much fluoride. This is why parents should control the amount of toothpaste children use (a small pea size amount) and keep toothpastes and fluoridated mouth washes in a safe place.
With any product, we need to be careful and follow directions and protocols. Many things we take for granted can be harmful if abused. But like most things, fluoride is safe and effective when used properly.
More than 100 leading organizations in medicine and healthcare recognize that fluoride in water is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities. Some of these include the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Surgeon General.
From my personal observations, I have seen the benefits of fluoride over my 35 years of practicing dentistry. I see the differences in children who get fluoridated city water and those who have well water. I see the differences in patients who get regular fluoride treatments and those who choose not to.
Do your own research, make your own decision. The ADA has a lot of helpful information: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fluoride. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your dental professionals. We are here to help. As for myself and my team, WE BELIEVE IN FLUORIDE!
Thanks for reading,