Fluoride – Friend or Foe

A Closer Look at Fluoride

Fluoride is probably one of the most debated subjects in dentistry. Is fluoride really necessary for strong, healthy teeth, can you live without it or can it be hazardous to your health are all questions that need to be answered.

The fact is that fluoride is not dangerous or toxic when it is used correctly and there is evidence that it can help prevent cavities as well as improve your overall oral health. According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), fluoride reduces tooth decay by between 20% and 40% plus it prevents cavities in people of all ages. This, in turn helps prevent the need for costly and often uncomfortable dental procedures to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay in the future.

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What Is Fluoride and Where Is It Found?

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in water, soil and foods that are produced by Mother Nature. Man has found a way to reproduce this mineral in greater quantities so that it can be used to improve oral health and it is added to our drinking water as well as a variety of different oral hygiene and dental health products.

What Types of Products Contain Fluoride?

Fluoride is added to most dental hygiene products including toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. The mineral is also found in dental products such as gel’s, cement, fillings, and fluoride tablets that may be given to you by your dentist.

Is Fluoride Added to Water?

In most areas, fluoride is added to drinking water to help reduce oral health problems. Studies found that children who had fluoride added to their water experienced a 35% reduction in the occurrence of decay, missing teeth and filled baby teeth. A further 15% of children had zero decay in their baby teeth.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride works in the following ways to prevent tooth decay:

– Strengthens enamel development in children under 7 years of age to increase resistance against acid attacks.

– Creates better quality enamel to resist acid attack.

– Reduces acid production in plaque and acid-causing bacteria.

These 3 elements aid in protecting the teeth from decay and cavities that may result in the need for dental procedures later in life.

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Are There Risks Associated with Fluoride Use?

Like most substances that you consume, moderation is of primary importance. Although fluoride is good for your teeth, there may be side-effects if you ingest too much of this mineral.

Fluoridation of water is therefore strictly regulated to ensure that only safe amounts are consumed. The amount of fluoride found in dental products is also regulated to ensure safety. Fluoride in small amounts is unlikely to pose any health problems and more than 100 national and global health and other types of organizations recognize the value of fluoride for dental health.

A sign that you may be getting too much fluoride is the appearance of white streaks on the teeth. The streaks do not pose a threat to the teeth and should disappear naturally over time when fluoride exposure is reduced.

Should You Use Fluoride?

Overall, the benefits of using fluoride outweigh any potential r risk and using fluoride is therefore recommended.

Both the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) recognize the benefits of fluoride although they have different regulations regarding the how much fluoride is beneficial and how much may be harmful. Regardless of these differences, each organization has put the regulations in place to protect against fluoride doses that may be harmful.

If you are worried about fluoride treatments, speak to us at Collins Bay Dental. We will assist you in choosing dental hygiene products to improve your dental health and help prevent tooth decay and cavities.

For all of your family dental needs, contact us at Collin’s Bay Dental to book an appointment today!

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