Friday, August 2, 2013

Separating Fluoride Facts From Fiction

Let's face it: fluoride has gotten a bad rap the last few years, despite the overwhelming evidence that it's good for your teeth. Separating the fluoride facts from the fiction can be hard - and believing everything you read can be dangerous.

Here are some fluoride facts you might not know:

  • Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, found in natural water sources.
  • One of the benefits of fluoride is that it reduces your chances of tooth decay and cavities
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) offers it's Seal of Acceptance to many OTC products containing fluoride
  • You can get fluoride treatments at the dentist
  • The Mayo Clinic recommends fluoride mouthwashes to people with Sjogren's (pronounced SHOW-grins) Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which inhibits the ability to create tears or saliva

If you're still unsure which fluoride facts are true and which aren't "facts" at all; it's time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. S/he can explain how fluoride and dental health go hand-in-hand, and make recommendations based on your specific needs.

A Quick Look at the Benefits of Fluoride for the Community

There are significant health benefits of fluoride regimens, especially for children. Developing teeth and gums get the most out of the mineral, though adult teeth need it, too. The ADA has been conducting comprehensive research for more than 60 years into the benefits of fluoride through community water fluoridation. Some of its statements include:

  • Community-based fluoridation is the "single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay."
  • "Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying salt with iodine, milk with vitamin D and orange juice with vitamin C."
  • "For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs."
  • "Studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing dental decay by 20-40%... "
  • "... Without fluoridation, there would be many more than the estimated 51 million school hours lost per year in this country because of dental-related illness."

On a community level, the benefits of fluoride are numerous. By providing people with fluoridated water, towns not only save money: they offer a public health service that protects their inhabitants' health - and saves businesses millions of dollars of revenue that may be lost through sickness.

How Fluoride and Dental Health Are Linked

For individuals who have well water, or live in a community where the water is not fluoridated, the health benefits of fluoride-fortified products are even more significant. Using ADA approved mouth rinses and toothpastes can help keep teeth clean, enamel strong and gums healthy. Plus, there's no difference between naturally occurring fluoride and fluoride that's been added to water or dental products: you reap the advantages regardless. Even better, fluoride can protect your teeth whether you ingest it or use it on your teeth. As long as it's a part of your daily routine, you'll see a connection between fluoride and your dental health improvements.

The ADA says that "Dental decay is, by far, the most common and costly oral health problem in all age groups." By regularly drinking fluoridated water and/or using products with fluoride added in, you're protecting your teeth and gums from an array of decay-based diseases.

For more helpful fluoride facts, make an appointment with your dentist. S/he can recommend the best products and oral hygiene practices to keep your mouth healthy. Dental professionals have long known the benefits of fluoride: it's time you did, too.

Dr. Goldberg received his D.D.S. from University of Maryland at Baltimore. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the New Jersey Dental Association, the Jersey Coast Dental Forum, and the Seattle Study Club. His pursuit of continuing education annually exceeds state requirements including the Mid-Atlantic Dental Implant Center and a 2003-2004 Residency in Implant Prosthetics.
Article Source:

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment