Fluoride has been somewhat controversial for some time with some warning of its dangers and others warning of tooth decay when not used. With fluoride appearing in everything from drinking water to commonly-used dental products, some may be concerned about the use of this substance and wonder why it is necessary. To help you sort things out and get the facts straight, read the below information about this substance and decide for yourself.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance present in nature, often in drinking water but also in foods and soils. This mineral is often added to the drinking water supplies of cities when natural levels are low. Once scientists discovered its benefits, it became part of many products on the marketplace from mouthwash and toothpaste to dentist office applications. The addition of fluoride to the drinking water supply and products has been found to be extremely effective at reducing cavities and other dental maladies by the American Dental Association (ADA).
How Does It Work?
Fluoride strengthens the enamel, particularly in young children with developing teeth, making it more impervious to acid. Acid breaks down the enamel and this can lead to cavities. Fluoride also prevents the formation of bacteria. Bacteria can not only create an atmosphere ripe for cavities but for gum diseases as well. Also, fluoride helps with something called de-mineralization. This is when your teeth shed important stabilizing minerals that help keep your teeth strong. Finally, fluoride can also add minerals back to teeth that have already been compromised.
Can Flouride Be Harmful?
The controversy about fluoride centers mostly around talk of it causing brain disorders, cancer, autoimmune issues, and more. Almost any substance consumed at high levels can be dangerous, and most people simply don't take in enough fluoride to cause harm. Another common problem with ingesting fluoride is that it can alter the appearance of the teeth. A mottled coloration or white spots can appear. This issue is entirely cosmetic, however, and usually disappears over time. If you are concerned about the levels of fluoride in the dental products you use and in your local drinking water supply, talk to your dentist. They can advise you about how much you and your children need and how to achieve that perfect balance of help without causing harm. To get more information about the use of fluoride for you and your family, speak to your family dentist today.Share
5 November 2020
Do you care for your teeth like you should? Most people brush their teeth, but so many people rush through this process and are not as careful as they should be. Still others avoid flossing. A lack of dental care over the years can lead to increased decay. Thankfully, we have dentists who can treat decay with fillings, crowns, and in some cases, root canals. Dentists also provide preventative care. They can clean your teeth and use things like fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel. The more you know about dental care, the better you'll be able to care for your mouth, so feel free to read some of the articles on this website.