Despite all the evidence that deems fluoride as safe, it has gained a bad reputation among many. This has led many people to stop using fluoride treatments that are designed to strengthen and protect our teeth. If you’re not sure what to believe, here are 7 myths about fluoride, debunked.
Fluoride is Unnatural
Fluoride is, in fact, a mineral that is naturally found in water, soil, rocks, plants, air, and food. It’s also a mineral found in your teeth and bones. When there are fluoride compounds in your mouth, they can actually make your teeth stronger, prevent cavities from forming, and reverse early tooth decay. In fact, once in your mouth, fluoride teams up with calcium and phosphate to create a powerful defense mechanism for your teeth.
It’s Unsafe for Children
When used as directed, fluoride is safe for both adults and children. Dentists are properly trained in fluoride distribution, but parents are not. That’s why it’s important to talk to your dentist first before starting any fluoride-based treatments and to monitor your child’s use to ensure they take the right dosage.
Adults Gain the Most Benefits
Fluoride intake is most critical for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years when primary and permanent teeth emerge. Fluoride at an early age can penetrate the teeth and make it stronger, just like how calcium strengthens our bones.
Fluorosis Staining Cannot Be Removed
Excess fluoride can cause white specks and minor discoloration that cannot be removed with stain-fighting toothpaste. However, your dentist can lighten or remove these stains with professional-strength products.
I Don’t Need Fluoride Treatments if it’s in My Water
The amount of fluoride you receive in your water supply is highly dependent on your area and the treatment system used. Some systems remove 100% of the fluoride and others remove far less. Having trace amounts in tap water can help, however, it isn’t enough to fully protect your teeth on its own. It’s best to get fluoride both topically and systematically even if your water source is boosted with fluoride.
Europe Doesn’t Use Fluoride
You may have heard some stories that Europe has banned fluoride. Although this is partly true – they still use fluoridated salt in the water systems across many nations. Europe also still recommends fluoride-based toothpaste for healthy teeth and gums.
It Tastes Awful
Some fluoride products do have a bad taste, but there is a wide range of available flavours today that do taste great. Talk to your dentist if you would like to try a new flavor.
At Yazdani Family Dentistry, we offer fluoride treatments to our patients, but we never push if they don’t want them. Talk to us today to learn more about fluoride.