You’re not alone if you believe that fluoride is a chemical additive to dental products that could pose a health risk. Many people wonder if fluoride is safe or if it actually harms their teeth. Some people believe that fluoride should be avoided at all costs, unless you want to suffer horrible consequences for your teeth. How safe is fluoride? Is it actually beneficial to your oral health, or can it harm you more than it helps? Learn the facts about fluoride and its safety.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found throughout nature and in the crust of the Earth. It is even found naturally in water and food supplies. Fluoride is often referred to as nature’s cavity fighter due to this, especially since it strengthens your teeth and helps to prevent decay. Several U.S. cities add fluoride to the water supply to reduce the amount of decay in the general population.
In our Rancho Cucamonga Kids Dentist office, fluoride is commonly used to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Research has shown that fluoride in community water supplies and fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office decrease tooth decay.
How Does Fluoride Work?
You only get one set of natural permanent teeth, which is why fluoride is so important. Fluoride strengthens your teeth and prevents cavities by supporting a natural demineralization and remineralization process in your mouth. It strengthens weak tooth enamel to help fight bacteria and prevent tooth decay.
Demineralization occurs when the bacteria in your mouth feed on carbohydrates and sugars, weakening your tooth enamel. During remineralization, the minerals that strengthen your enamel are replenished, so your teeth will be better protected and less prone to decay.
By working with demineralization and remineralization, fluoride helps protect your teeth from demineralization’s damaging effects. Additionally, it aids in the replenishment of calcium and phosphate ions during remineralization. When your teeth lose too many minerals, this can lead to tooth decay. Fluoride protects your teeth from acid damage, resulting in stronger, healthier teeth.
Is Fluoride Safe?
When fluoride is used properly and in appropriate amounts, fluoride is safe. When fluoride is used incorrectly, it can be unsafe, just as with anything else. Fluoride typically poses the highest risk for children if they are exposed to too much fluoride for an extended period of time. As a result, children’s teeth may become discolored or may have white lines or spots on their enamel, a condition known as dental fluorosis.
Children who haven’t yet erupted their permanent teeth are generally affected by dental fluorosis. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of fluoride may result in a condition known as skeletal fluorosis, which can also affect adults. Bones are affected by skeletal fluorosis.
These conditions are, however, extremely rare and can be prevented by using fluoride at the recommended doses and in the recommended ways. There is no need to worry about fluoride. It is as safe as anything else. Too much water can make you sick, but it does not mean that water is unhealthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that fluoride is safe and is not associated with adverse health effects when used properly.
Furthermore, the American Dental Association (ADA) shows that there are more than 125 organizations worldwide that recognize fluoride’s safety, legitimacy, and benefits for oral health, including the World Health Organization. Is fluoride safe? Yes. It very much is, and is in fact, an important part of maintaining good oral health when used correctly!
We now know that fluoride is safe, and we can take advantage of its benefits, such as stronger teeth and reduced decay. The benefits of fluoride can be obtained through fluoride treatments at the dentist, fluoride toothpaste, fluoride mouthwashes, fluoride in water, and fluoride supplements.
In our Kids Dentist Rancho Cucamonga office, we’re committed to helping you ensure that you’re using fluoride correctly to maintain strong, healthy teeth. In addition to providing professional fluoride treatments, we are happy to advise you on how fluoride can be used most effectively for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Sweet Tooth Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
Phone: (909) 989-7222
6331 Haven Ave Suite 12
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737