Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been dubbed ‘nature’s cavity fighter’, is under constant questioning about the safety and necessity of its use in dental treatment, drinking water, and more. The debate runs deep through politics along with safety. Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, TX will explain the safety of fluoride and answer the question To Fluoride or Not to Fluoride?
Is Fluoride Dangerous?
Many patient’s concerns about fluoride relate to its overuse and side effects. Yes, fluorosis can happen. However, this does not occur by drinking city water or brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each. Fluorosis is typically seen in children when they consume toothpaste, instead of brushing with it. This highlights the importance of either introducing toothpaste with fluoride at an older age and/or parent supervision while brushing. Actually, fluorosis is purely a cosmetic condition that appears through while lines or markings on the bottom of the teeth. In severe cases, children can develop brown or grey enamel.
What the Center for Disease Control says about Fluoride
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no substantial evidence that connects fluoride with “an increased risk for cancer. Down syndrome, heart disease, osteoporosis, and bone fracture, immune disorders, low intelligence, renal disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, or allergic reactions.” Through the Community Water Fluoridation initiative, the naturally occurring fluoride in water is increased to strengthen the tooth’s defense layer, known as enamel, to prevent tooth decay. Furthermore, using fluoride saves time and money in extensive dental treatments.
How Fluoride Works
Acidic and sugary foods release acid into your mouth that attacks the minerals within your tooth’s enamel. The reduction of minerals in the enamel is called demineralization and can lead to tooth sensitivity in the area where there is weak enamel. Eventually, the minerals diminish and a cavity forms. The process to replace the lost minerals in your enamel after consuming acidic or sugary food or drinks is called remineralization. This natural process can occur through eating raw, unprocessed foods and through using fluoride. Additionally, fluoride helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth that weaken your enamel.
The debate about fluoride is multifaceted and each patient must make their own determination on whether To Fluoride or Not to Fluoride. For more information about fluoride and how to properly use it, call our friendly staff at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, TX at 972-596-3405.