Every so often, somebody starts telling people that fluoride is this evil chemical hell-bent on hurting our families. With the internet, such fake news stories can get distributed far and wide. It can even make you wonder if you’re doing the right thing by using a toothpaste with fluoride in it.
That’s why you need to call us today at our Laredo, TX dental offices (Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695) and make a new appointment. Our dentists have extensive education and know why fluoride is good for you and your smile.
How Fluoride Strengthens Your Smile
What is it about fluoride that makes it so good? There are several things:
- Research has proven that fluoride strengthens your enamel. This makes your teeth better at resisting damage from accidents and tooth decay.
- In children, fluoride will strengthen adult teeth that haven’t come in yet. That means they’ll appear and be stronger than they would have been.
- Fluoride has also been proven to reverse microscopic amounts of damage to enamel. It won’t heal a broken tooth, but this does make such a drastic problem much less likely.
Why People Think Fluoride Is Bad
The American Dental Association supports the use of fluoride in toothpastes, drinking water, and fluoride treatments. It’s hard to believe that thousands of highly-trained dentists are wrong. Then why do some people still think that fluoride is a problem? Two reasons, really:
- 1. People don’t understand the science. It takes many years of training in chemistry and biology to fully understand why fluoride in tap water and toothpaste is healthy. In other words, most people mean well and are trying to help, but they lack the education.
- 2. Some people are trying to make a buck. A few websites that talk about the evils of fluoride just so happen to be selling a book or kit that will help. Steer clear of any such offers.
The Truth About Fluoride
To clear up any misunderstandings, here are several truths about fluoride.
– There are many types of fluoride, and what’s in toothpaste and water is safe.
It’s true that one form of fluoride is used as a poison. However, that’s very different from the kinds used in fluoride treatments, toothpastes, and water. Think about chlorine. The stuff that’s used to clean pools is toxic to people. But you eat a different form of chlorine every day: sodium chloride, also known as salt. The two forms are so different that one’s toxic but another is needed.
The same applies to fluoride. Some versions are unhealthy, but the kind used for your teeth is just fine.
– Very large doses of fluoride are harmful — just like very large doses of anything.
Normally, you will find 0.7 milligrams of fluoride in a glass of tap water. Research has shown repeatedly that this amount will not hurt your body. However, a recent study connected having a lower IQ with taking fluoride — but when taking 8.0 milligrams, not 0.7.
In other words, you might get sick if you take more than 10 times the recommended amount of fluoride. Taking such very large doses of just about anything will also hurt you. You can even suffer from hyperhydration if you drink too much water.
– Fluoride is a natural mineral similar to potassium or iodine.
There are some people who claim fluoride is a man-made chemical and therefore it’s bad for you. However, that’s is completely false. First, fluoride is natural mineral. Just like potassium and iodine, it’s found in nature and our bodies can use it to stay healthy. Also, “chemical” is a misleading term. Technically, almost everything is a chemical, even water.
– Fluoride occurs in drinking water naturally.
How did scientists think to research fluoride’s effect on your teeth? Because fluoride can be found in drinking water naturally. It seeps into wells and rivers. People who drank well water with fluoride naturally in it had much better teeth. After researching fluoride, scientists discovered that’s what helped their teeth avoid cavities and damage.
Call us today at our Laredo, TX dental offices (Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695) to schedule your next appointment for a dental cleaning and dental exam. And keep using toothpaste that has fluoride in it! It can help prevent cavities and help you avoid needing a tooth filling.