Is fluoride necessary for dental health? Is it beneficial? Is it dangerous? There are a lot of questions out there about fluoride, probably because it is an unfamiliar word, and there is misinformation about it.
Here’s our summary: fluoride can help to prevent cavities, and it is not dangerous when used right! The rest is details and related questions. Let’s look into each one.
Are There Any Dangers to Fluoride?
First, let’s get this out of the way. It’s understandable to be afraid of a foreign substance in the body. At the same time, fluoride is a natural mineral that is present in both fresh and salty water in low concentrations.
The dosage level is the key to the safety of any molecule. Even water can cause problems if you drink too much. With fluoride, small amounts that we can administer in the office are perfectly safe.
A side effect of too much fluoride is streaks or spots on the teeth. These marks gradually fade away, and they don’t actually harm the material of the teeth.
How Is Fluoride Used?
National and international organizations have stated that small amounts of fluoride in dental products and drinking water are beneficial. It is added to some versions of mouthwash, toothpaste, floss, fillings, varnishes, and gels.
The American Dental Association states that fluoride can reduce cavities by a significant percentage, no matter what age the patient is. A low-cost fluoride treatment or product can save significant funds that might otherwise go toward fillings and other services.
Fluoride is also added to city drinking water in many areas, which may reduce cavities in children who drink that water. It is, of course, added in very low concentrations that is perfectly safe to drink.
Fluoride naturally strengthens the outer layer of tooth material (enamel) against tooth decay, especially as teeth are growing. Fluoride also helps mature adult teeth by enhancing the saliva, which is vital in cleaning sugar and plaque off of teeth.
Get Healthier Teeth
If you want to help a child in your family to avoid cavities—or want to protect your own teeth—ask us to give you a fluoride treatment the next time you visit the office of Dr. Robert Rosenfeld.
You can also use toothpaste with added fluoride. Remember, it’s proven to be safe in those quantities. So, protect your teeth, and visit us every six months for a friendly, thorough cleaning.