In the world of dentistry, especially here at Panama City Smiles, there’s no debate that fluoride is an important part of a comprehensive oral health plan. Fluoride helps your teeth rebuild enamel that is lost over time and does so with incredible effectiveness. It’s a naturally occurring element that is present in a good portion of the foods and water we drink without any intervention – in short, it’s a part of life!
There has been a lot of concern in recent years over the importance, safety, and health effects of fluoride despite its long-standing use in dental care which is the reason for this blog post. We want you to understand how important fluoride is to your health and how harmless it really is. Read on to get the truth about fluoride!
Fib #1: Water Fluoridation Is Dangerous!
If you live in the city, or anywhere else that is served by public water systems, there’s a good chance your tap water contains fluoride. Water fluoridation was started in the United States in 1945 in order to combat widespread tooth decay. It has become the norm for most communities in the country and around the world, and has been a major contributor to reduced tooth decay rates. Nonetheless, myths and conspiracy theories continue to follow water fluoridation.
There are a number of arguments against water fluoridation, some if which will be covered below, but it’s worth mentioning a few here that specifically pertain to water.
- Fluoridation is too expensive: in fact, fluoridation is affordable and saves communities countless of lost money due health complications! In fact, a Texas study found that the state saved approximately $24 per child in medicaid costs due to cavities prevented by water fluoridation!
- Water fluoridation isn’t effective: countless studies have proved the effectiveness of water fluoridation, and the overall level of tooth decay in the United States has dropped considerably because of fluoridation! A study performed on two Arkansas communities (one that had fluoridated water) found that the town without fluoridated water had twice as many cavities!
- Water fluoridation isn’t natural: in fact, fluoride naturally occurs in the water that you drink! Unfortunately for your teeth, it’s a too low a level to make much of a difference, so fluoride is added to help save your teeth! Even at its elevated level, fluoride is still only one part in ten thousand – that’s like trying to pick out a particular penny in a stack of $10,000!
Fib #2: Fluoride Causes Cancer
While high concentrations and doses of compounds containing fluoride can be dangerous or fatal, there is nowhere nearly enough in your daily allowance of water or food to raise concern for poisoning.
In terms of a link between fluoride and cancer, there has been no definitive connection proven, and studies have repeatedly failed to find a link between the two. The United States Public Health Services has stated in several thorough studies that water fluoridation and intake from food poses no risk for increased cancer levels in humans.
Fib #3: Fluoride is Harmful to Children and Babies
While dangerous doses of fluoride are lower for smaller people – children included – there is still a large margin between “too much” fluoride and a harmful dose! Depriving children of fluoride at a young age can result in weak teeth, thin enamel, and dark spots on the teeth where enamel is the thinnest. You should always make sure your young ones get fluoride as early as possible! Even the youngest children can benefit from fluoride to strengthen their future teeth!
When children get too much fluoride at a young age they might end up with white spots on their teeth, called fluorosis, but that’s the worst of it – and those spots are easily fixable at the dentist office! If you have white spots on your teeth and want to eliminate them, you’ve come to the right place! Panama City Smiles can get rid of those spots through any of our various cosmetic services. Those spots don’t have to be permanent!
Fluoride is perfectly safe and is an important part of your oral health. Don’t end up suffering from tooth decay that could have easily been prevented from brushing with fluoride toothpaste, drinking water from your tap, and seeing us at our Panama City office for regular cleanings and fluoride treatments. You can keep your teeth healthy for years with this simple and essential preventive item!
To find out more about the benefits of fluoride, or to make an appointment at Panama City Smiles, call our office today at 850-588-0185! You can also request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to helping you protect your smile!