Fluoride Myths and Facts

Most of us would have seen the toothpaste makers advertise fluoridated toothpastes. Fluoride toothpastes are extremely effective against tooth decays. You may be surprised to know the fluorides exist is naturally occurring water and soil at varying levels.

It was in the 1940’s that scientists and doctors realized the impact fluorides can have on dental problems. Subsequent studies have found fluoride inhibits the acid producing bacteria in the mouth and not only that they also help in the remineralization of decayed enamel. Hence it can not only prevent but also reverse tooth decay. Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding the need and benefits of fluorides. Here are some of them which we would like to bust today.

Myth 1
Since fluoride is present in natural water, that is good enough to protect teeth.
Fact – While the above statement is partially true, the naturally occurring fluoride is not sufficient to prevent tooth decay. The optimal level of fluoride in water is 0.7 parts per million.

Myth 2
Fluoride is an added medication to the toothpastes.
Fact – Fluoride is not a medication, it’s a naturally occurring mineral which is beneficial for oral health. The American Journal of Public Health even stated that its not a medication but a naturally occurring nutrient. Just like iodine is added to salt for our health similarly fluorides are added to toothpastes in the right quantities.

Myth 3
Fluorides are unsafe for children.
Fact The fact is that it’s the other way round, giving sufficient fluorine supplements to children as young as 6 months can help strengthen their teeth for their entire lifetime. A study conducted in 2010 showed that a child given fluoride supplements when young makes loss of teeth due to decay less likely when he/she is a middle aged adults in his/ her 40s and 50s.

Myth 4
Fluoridation causes cancer.
Fact – A number of studies by health authorities over so many years has proved that there is no linkage between fluoride and cancer. However consuming excess fluoride does cause a condition called fluorosis which is generally a mild condition involving no pain and does not affect health or function of teeth.

Myth 5
Fluoridation does not prevent tooth decay
Fact – Since the 1940s there have many numerous studies on this subject which have conclusively proved that fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay. In one such study it has been found that people not using fluoridated water require 33% more treatments for tooth decay than people consuming fluoridated water.

While the myths on this subject are many, the above listed ones are the most common. Hopefully we helped bust a few myths for you today. You can visit us at Ensure Dental Care today or contact us at 682-213-4114 to know more. All major insurance plans accepted.