When it comes to fluoride, there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Whether fluoride is beneficial for our teeth or not, is a subject people debate over more often than not. So, to clear your confusion regarding fluorides, here we have presented some of the facts about fluoride, whilst also busting some popular myths.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods and even water. When demineralisation occurs due to the formation of plaque on our teeth, it is compensated by the remineralisation process through food, water, and dental products containing fluoride. Fluoride is a substance with the property of strengthening the tooth enamel and thereby preventing tooth decay. This makes fluoride an essential nutrient to maintain good dental health. For this reason, fluoride is added to many dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. It is often added to public water supplies to form fluoridated water.
Now that we have understood what fluoride is, let us now debunk some popular myths surrounding fluoride and its corresponding facts.
Myth: People Consuming Fluoride-Containing Foods and Water Will Develop Fluorosis
It is believed that consuming excess fluoride through foods and water can lead to dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is the development of scattered white flecks across the teeth.
Fact: Dental Fluorosis is an Outcome of Very High Amounts of Fluoride Consumption
It is imperative to understand that the concentration of fluoride in specific foods and fluoridated is considerably low. The risk of developing dental fluorosis becomes low too. This risk increases only when an excessive amount of fluoride is consumed one or the other way. For instance, children swallowing toothpaste are at increased risk of mild fluorosis.
Myth: Fluoride Can Lead to Cancer
A misguided opinion that fluoride causes cancer is prevalent among many people. However, extensive studies all over the world have shown that there is no link between fluoride and any type of cancer.
Fact: Fluoride is Completely Safe
Numerous types of research around the globe have shown that the addition of fluoride to water is completely safe and does not lead to cancer or any other serious disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney issues, for that matter.
Myth: Fluoride is not as Effective in Preventing Tooth Decay
Several people are not confident that fluoride is effective enough to prevent tooth decay. However, it is proven that fluoride is instrumental in preventing future tooth decay and loss as well as helping to strengthen your teeth.
Fact: Fluoride Strengthens Enamel and Prevents Tooth Decay
Fluoride has a special characteristic of locking calcium into your teeth. This way, it helps prevent bacteria from eating into the tooth enamel by leaching minerals from your teeth and thereby slowing down the process of tooth decay. Thus, fluoride naturally restores weakened enamel making it resistant to demineralisation and promoting remineralisation.
This has earned fluoride the moniker of “nature’s cavity fighter”.
Myth: Fluoride is Dangerous For Children
It is a misconstrued notion that fluoride is dangerous for children. In reality, only those children who tend to swallow toothpaste are at higher risk of developing mild fluorosis. Moreover, fluorosis is quite rare and doesn’t affect their dental or overall health. It is more of a cosmetic issue.
Fact: Fluoride is Perfectly Safe and Essential For Children
Fluoride is not only perfectly safe for children but also vital for them, especially for those 8 years and younger. This is because it helps with proper tooth development in them. Moreover, it is essential for developing strong teeth that last a lifetime.
Myth: Fluoride is Forced on Communities as a Medication
It is not uncommon for many people to consider fluoride as a medication that is forced on communities. It happens so because fluoride is largely connected to dental health and every dentist offers fluoride treatment as a secondary service.
Fact: Fluoride is Rather a Nutrient
Fluoride utilised in making fluoridated water is added not as medicine but as a nutrient. It helps strengthen our teeth. Fluoride forms a part of numerous examples where an everyday product is fortified with a nutrient to improve our health – vitamin D is added to milk, iodine to salt, and folic acid to bread.
In today’s times, it can be tricky to separate fact from fiction, when the internet is flooded with information. This can lead to quite a few misconceptions regarding several matters. The use and benefits of fluoride are one such topic. However, extensive studies and numerous research have confirmed that fluoridated water and fluoride-containing dental products are not only safe but also effective in maintaining and improving our dental health.
If you wish to learn more about the benefits of fluoride and its optimum consumption, we at Complete Smiles will be more than happy to cater to your questions and concerns. Moreover, if you are concerned about your oral health, our team of highly qualified and experienced dental professionals will suggest you the best dental hygiene healthcare routine.
Complete Smiles is renowned as one of the most trusted dental practices in London, providing services such as general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign treatment, dental implants, and more. With a mission to provide you with the best dental care possible, we strive to make your smiles brighter than ever before. To book an appointment with us, call us at 020 4541 1150. You can also book an appointment online.