There are few things as misunderstood as fluoride. Yet after decades of debate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a statement by naming water fluoridation is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
To put your worries to rest and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about fluoride, our experts at Michael S. Roessler DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry have teamed up to share the truth about fluoride. Keep reading, and then be sure to call us at 847-652-9147 to schedule your next preventive dentsitry appointment in Mundelein, IL.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in the crust of the earth. It is widely distributed and found in many of the foods we ingest and much of the water we drink. Fluoride has been added to drinking water to promote healthier teeth, since fluoride has been proven to reduce tooth decay.
It works by bonding to tooth enamel to strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to harmful bacteria. By doing so, fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and cavities.
Is Fluoride Safe?
When used properly, fluoride is totally safe and effective. Water fluoridation systems are required by law to be regulated. These systems are required to maintain safe levels of fluoride for drinking.
Many organizations in the United States have endorsed water fluoridation, including:
- Multiple Surgeon Generals
- American Dental Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Medical Association
- World Health Organization
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Cosmetic fluorosis can happen when someone swallows large amounts of fluoride. A sign of fluorosis is streaking white lines on teeth. While it is not impossible for someone to ingest too much fluoride, it is highly unlikely that a person would contract fluorosis from drinking fluoridated water.
Fluorosis is more common when someone consistently ingests prescription fluoride tablets or fluoridated toothpaste. In the rare case of fluorosis, symptoms are usually mild.
What You Should Know About Fluoride
While toothpaste does contain fluoride, it doesn’t always provide enough protection with the amount it contains. For the best protection against tooth decay, you should drink fluoridated water and use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
It is also important to note that fluoride is not only safe for children, but fluoridated toothpaste is recommended. For children under the age of six, brushing should always be supervised and parents should do their best to make sure their children don’t swallow toothpaste.
The main things to remember about fluoride is that it is safe for people of all ages, helps protect against tooth decay and gum disease, and should be considered an essential nutrient for all people. Drinking plenty of water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and drinking fluoridated water ensures that you are not only taking good care of your body, but your teeth as well.
At Michael S. Roessler DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we are more than happy to address concerns you may have about fluoride or any other dental health-related issue. We want our patients to feel well-informed so that they are better able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members or schedule a checkup in Mundelein, call 847-652-9147 today. We’re located at 444 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 1 – between East Maple Avenue and East Hawley Street.