Back in the 1950s, communities in America started adding fluoride to tap water. They learned something that dentist already knew: Fluoride is safe and helps strengthen your teeth. But with the rise of fake news in this country, some people are hearing the old conspiracy theories saying fluoride is bad.
Call Dr. Patel today at 850-588-0185 to make an appointment for dental cleanings and dental exams that include fluoride treatment. With his years of training and practical experience, Dr. Patel knows the truth about fluoride and how much it helps your smile.
Fake News About Fluoride Is Nothing New
When fluoride was first introduced in the US, a few people loudly proclaimed it was dangerous or part of some nefarious plot. Back then, those people had a hard time spreading their incorrect information. But thanks to the internet, such fake news is much easier to spread.
You’ve probably seen some memes or ideas floating around Facebook and the internet as a whole. They’re often created by people who either have little or no education in dentistry (or chemistry, or biology) or want to sell you something. That’s why fluoride is back in the news these days. It’s still safe and good for your teeth. It’s just that the internet makes it easy for fake news to spread.
Why Dentists Use Fluoride
What are the benefits of fluoride, and why do dentists use fluoride treatments in dental exams? Because it works. Here’s how fluoride makes your smile stronger.
- In children, fluoride makes their incoming adult teeth stronger.
- Fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to tooth decay and erosion.
- Fluoride can even reverse tiny amounts of damage in your enamel.
Don’t Believe These Fluoride Myths
Fake news makes it easier for myths to spread. Here are three of the more common stories about fluoride that are either highly exaggerated or outright false.
MYTH: Fluoride is a government plot to make people less intelligent.
FACT: Fluoride in tap water or toothpaste is too weak to do any damage.
A few years ago, Harvard published a meta-study looking at data about fluoride. The study showed that sometimes there’s a link between using fluoride and having lower IQ scores. However, there are several problems with this idea.
First, most of the studies are from China where there are many environmental toxins. Many studies even clearly stated they did not find any link between fluoride and IQ scores.
Second, those that did show a connection used fluoride doses much, much higher than what you get in the US. For example, tap water here has to have around 0.7 milligrams of fluoride. Those Chinese studies look at water with up to 8.0 milligrams. Anything is bad if you get megadoses of it.
MYTH: Fluoride is dangerous because they put it in rat poison.
FACT: The type of fluoride used by dentists is perfectly safe.
While it is true that rat poison as one kind of fluoride compound in it, that’s not the same used in dentistry. The most commonly used type of fluoride in tap water is called fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). In some poisons, you’ll find sodium fluoroacetate (FCH2CONa). You don’t have to have a degree in chemistry to realize those two are very different.
Look at it this way. Your table salt is almost entirely made of sodium chloride. Take away the sodium, and you’re left chlorine — which was used as a chemical weapon in World War One. Would you say salt is poisonous?
MYTH: Fluoride is a man-made chemical that shouldn’t be in water.
FACT: Fluoride is a natural mineral found in rivers, lakes, and wells.
Organic and chemical-free foods are very popular, and that makes sense. Some man-made chemicals are not healthy at all. When some people complain about fluoride, they might call it a chemical that’s forced into water unnaturally.
That is simply false. The truth is, fluoride is a natural mineral just like sodium or potassium. It’s also found naturally in drinking water. That’s how dentists realized fluoride strengthened your teeth. People who drank water with natural fluoride in it had fewer cavities and better smiles. Adding fluoride to tap water is like adding vitamin-D to milk or iodine to salt: it’s healthy.
Call us TODAY at 850-588-0185 or use our convenient online form to schedule dental cleanings and dental exams that include fluoride treatments. Dr. Patel has extensive education in dentistry and knows that fluoride is not just safe — it’s great for your teeth.