5 Flouride Myths Explained

What exactly is Fluoride and how does it work? Is it controversial? There are a lot of myths floating around about fluoride, so Sterling Dental Center wants to set the record straight.

Here are five myths we have heard recently.

Myth 1: Fluoride doesn’t benefit adults

Fluoride protects teeth in both children and adults by making tooth enamel stronger. It starts this process before teeth even break through the gums. After your teeth break through, it works to strengthen tooth enamel that has been weakened.

When your tooth enamel is strong, it is better set up to resist and prevent tooth decay. Fluoride helps repair teeth in the initial stages of tooth decay before the tooth decay is visible.

Myth 2: Fluoride is not found anywhere in nature

Fluoride is naturally found in water sources like rivers and lakes, but not in high enough amounts to protect teeth. To increase fluoride levels in water, thus helping to prevent tooth decay, fluoride has been consistently added to public water supplies. As of 2011, the recommended level is 0.7 parts per million.

Myth 3: You can only get fluoride in your water

There are several ways to get fluoride. You can use toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride to increase your fluoride consumption. Make sure to supervise children when using these products to make sure they get the correct amount and do not swallow it as it is not suitable for children under six years of age.

At Dental visits, you can get fluoride applied directly to your teeth. It can be applied via a gel, foam, or a rinse.

Additionally, fluoride supplements are available, but only by prescription. You can get it in tablet, drop, or lozenge form. These supplements are meant for children living in areas with limited exposure to fluoride and a high risk of getting cavi

ties.

Myth 4: Fluoride is the only thing added to existing products

Adding fluoride to water sources is just one example of products fortified for improved health. Other examples include:

  • Vitamin D is added to milk to help with calcium absorption
  • Vitamin B is added to bread, cereals, and pastas
  • Iron is added to bread, cereals, and pastas
  • Iodine is added to salt
  • Vitamin A is added to grains and rice
  • Folic Acid is added to cereals, pasta, and flour

Myth 5: Fluoride is not that beneficial

Fluoride is instrumental is preventing tooth decay later in life, as well as reducing money spent on dental treatments. The CDC states, “Community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of the community regardless of age, educational attainment, income level, and the availability of dental care. In studies conducted after other fluoride products, such as toothpaste, were widely available, scientists found additional reductions in tooth decay – up to 25 percent – among people with community water fluoridation as compared to those without fluoridation.”
If you have any additional questions about fluoride intake or the fluoride we use, contact Sterling Dental Center today. Make sure you continue to maintain your dental hygiene practices, including regular checkups with fluoride treatments!