The Truth About Fluoride

Yes, we’re going there… The grueling drama that surrounds the topic of Fluoride treatment. 

Who needs to keep up with the Kardashians when we can debate the ingredients of community water systems?

We’ve been on a rough rollercoaster with heavy public opinions on Fluoride since it was first introduced as an additive to drinking water back in the 1950’s.  Today many people refuse to use fluoride despite majority dental professionals and the American Dental Association suggestions that fluoride is essential to the prevention of cavities.

Don’t Hate, Educate!

Did you know that fluoride is actually a natural mineral that can be found in basically everything? Fluoride is one of the top 20 most common elements of the earth’s crust and can be found all throughout nature like lakes, oceans, rivers and different kinds of food.

When our teeth are treated with fluoride, it not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also aids in the repair of tooth decay.  Fluoride actually helps harden the enamel on our teeth, which is why it is so important for children to obtain proper amounts of fluoride.  It concentrates in the developing teeth of children to harden the enamel before they even emerge.

In our society and modern culture, our teeth are infiltrated every day by cavity causing foods with high sugars and acids.  These foods can break down our enamel and cause an acidic environment which then turns into cavity heaven.  (Not the ideal kind of heaven.)

 If you have a cavity that goes untreated, it will likely progress and cause the tooth to die and lead to loss of the tooth.  Unfortunately, we’re not like sharks where we can grow thousands of teeth over and over again, however, we do have the education and science to provide preventable measures such as… “Ding, ding, ding”, Fluoride!  Regardless of how you use fluoride, once it enters your mouth it’s absorbed by your enamel.  Fluoride then buddies up with the phosphates and calcium to create a defense power team, which achieves remineralization and prevents cavities from progressing.

Fluoride is additionally found in many community water systems at a safe level to be consumed. Locally, (Grants Pass, Medford, Central Point, Ashland and Eagle Point) do not have fluoridated water systems outside of what is naturally sourced.  Oregon is amongst the lowest percentage for un-fluoridated water systems. 

*CDC Resource on community water systems and fluoride treatment – (https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/CountyList.aspx?state=Oregon&stateid=41&stateabbr=OR&reportLevel=1)

“The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends a level of 0.7 milligrams per Liter of fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay and promote good oral health.”

If you’re local and looking to supplement your child’s teeth with fluoride, looking to our local water systems won’t be an option until further reopening of such proposals.  The best way to supplement your child’s teeth with fluoride (locally) would be a good fluoride toothpaste.  Make sure you consult your child’s dentist as they may also provide fluoride tablets depending on your child’s risk for developing cavities.

So why the push back?

Over many years of evidence-based science, people are finding that fluoride actually has negative side effects.  Although, there is one condition called “fluorosis” which causes white spots on the teeth from excessive fluoride treatment.  Luckily this is only relevant when the teeth are forming.  Permanent adult teeth cannot get fluorosis.  This can also be reversed or treated with an aesthetic procedure.  This is why it is important to consult your child’s pediatric dentist when supplementing fluoride for their oral health.

Next time you see your child’s dentist, ask questions and don’t be afraid to grill them on all your concerns about fluoride or other treatment.  Dentists can provide you with incredible resources for your education and treatment to keep you and your family healthy for life!

Signing off, 

            Mama Garto

If you’re looking to establish your child with a Pediatric Dentist, call Dr. Waschak Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Today!  We specialize in customized treatment catered to your child’s needs!  541-435-2393

Sources:

(https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/CountyList.aspx?state=Oregon&stateid=41&stateabbr=OR&reportLevel=1)

(https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/health/2015/04/29/oregon-ranks-bottom-three-fluoridated-water/26618785/)

(https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/fluoride/what-is-fluoride)

(https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/faqs/)

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