Is Fluoride Safe?

Fluoride is one of nature’s minerals that can be found naturally in many different foods and water. Reversing the signs of early tooth decay, rebuilding the tooth’s enamel, and increasing the tooth enamel’s resistance towards acid from plaque and bacteria are just some of the mentionable benefits of fluoride.

Today, there is still controversy over the possible health effects of drinking fluoridated water.  Whether those concerns are based on legitimate scientific research or freedom of choice, knowing the facts about fluoride will help you to make an educated decision for you and your family.

Fluoride In Water Does Not Typically Cause Fluorosis

Dental fluorosis is a minor change in the appearance of the teeth, which typically results in faint white marks on the enamel. Those who suffer from fluorosis can vary, and cases are found in different communities, including those who do not add fluoride to drinking water.

Fluorosis occurs when children who still have teeth growing under the gums receive too much fluoride at a young age, and over an extended period. If you are concerned over the amount of fluoride in your drinking water, it is wise to note that toothpaste contains a higher concentration of fluoride than water. Parents with children under the age of 6 are advised to supervise tooth-brushing and use the right amount of toothpaste to prevent a child from developing fluorosis.

Fluoridated Water Is Safe For Everyone

Fluoride is naturally present in all water sources. However, the level of fluoride in a specific source of water varies widely. As a result, the water fluoridation process is necessary for adjusting the natural level of fluoride to the recommended level in preventing tooth decay. When the appropriate amount is used, fluoride helps to prevent cavities in both children and adults by making teeth stronger and more resilient to tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Prevention

Studies have proven that water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing dental decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Fluoride occurs naturally in water and has been recognized as an essential nutrient for healthy teeth. Not only does fluoride in drinking water strengthen your teeth, but it is also fortified to improve your overall health.

Strengthening Your Smile With Fluoride

Babies and children need fluoride to strengthen their growing teeth. The use of fluoride to prevent and control cavities has been documented to be both safe and effective in strengthening your smile. Children who drink fluoridated water as their teeth develop have stronger teeth that are more resilient to tooth decay over their lifetime. Additionally, studies have also shown that fluoridated water consumed as a young child makes the loss of teeth due to decay less likely 40 to 50 years later on in life.

The Link Between Fluoride and Cancer

People have raised concerns over the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation treatments since it first began. More than 50 population-based studies have looked into the potential link. Most of these studies have not found a strong link to cancer, and many of these water studies have been retrospective (looking back in time). Comparing the rates of cancer in a community before and after water fluoridation along with the fact that Osteosarcoma is a rare cancer makes it difficult to gather enough cases to perform more extensive studies.

In its review published in 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, labeled fluorides as “non-classifiable as to their carcinogenicity [ability to cause cancer] in humans.” The study findings “have shown no consistent tendency for people living in areas with high concentrations of fluoride in the water to have higher cancer rates than those living in areas with low concentrations.”

Benefits That Outweigh Potential Risks

People of all ages should use a toothpaste that contains fluoride regularly to guard against tooth decay while also strengthening tooth enamel. Young children need to receive enough fluoride while the teeth are in a growing phase, and while permanent teeth are coming into place.

Do you still have reservations or concerns over the safety of using fluoride? Contact Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS to learn more about the positive effects fluoride can have on your smile.