Fluoride is talked about frequently, but many people aren’t exactly sure what it is or what it does. We’re here to help you feel a bit more informed.
Fluoride is the ionized form of the element Fluorine. Fluorine is naturally-occurring, just like Hydrogen and Oxygen. It’s known to increase bone density (meaning it can help make our bones stronger), but perhaps even more importantly – it’s proven to protect teeth from cavities by rebuilding enamel. That’s right – it can actually REBUILD your teeth! How amazing is that!? Fluoride is a common ingredient in many toothpastes and mouthrinses, and it’s even found in most public water supplies. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about Fluoride that’s led some people to believe it can be harmful to them and their families. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, often the greatest risk lies in not using Fluoride.
With all of the myths surrounding Fluoride, this article is here to clear up what’s true and what’s not.
True or false? Drinking fluoridated water will cause fluorosis.
FALSE. Fluorosis is a condition where teeth develop harmless white spots as a result of consuming a very, very high amount of fluoride, well beyond the amount of fluoride in your at-home products and in the public water supply.
True or false? Fluoride is dangerous for children.
FALSE. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, which really is an incredible thing! It’s even okay if a little bit gets swallowed – as long as it’s not more than the amount used for brushing.
True or false? It’s expensive to use fluoridated water.
FALSE. Using fluoridated water is actually one of the least expensive ways to prevent cavities, and can help individuals, families and entire communities save money and time at the dentist by keeping their teeth healthy and cavity free.
True or false? Drinking fluoridated water causes cancer.
FALSE. There have been many studies over many generations supporting the safety of fluoridated water, and not one suggesting it as a cause of cancer or other health concerns like diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems.
True or false? Fluoride impacts cavities.
TRUE. Study after study has shown that fluoride does prevent cavities in children and adults.
True or false? Europe doesn’t allow fluoridated water, which means that the United States shouldn’t either.
FALSE. Many European (and Latin American) countries do, in fact, utilize fluoridated water, as do most communities in the U.S. That’s because most communities recognize its many benefits and understand the risks of removing it from the water supply.
True or false? Fluoride is medicine forced on communities who drink fluoridated water.
FALSE. Fluoride is not a medicine, it’s a naturally-occuring nutrient, like many of the vitamins and minerals we need every day to support good overall health.
True or false? Fluoride increases the risk of autism.
FALSE. There is no data or evidence connecting the two.
True or false? Fluoridated water is necessary, even with the fluoride content in toothpaste.
TRUE. There’s a small amount of Fluoride in toothpaste, which isn’t enough to fight cavities. Pairing that amount with the small concentration in the water supply provides maximum defense against cavities.
As you can see, there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to Fluoride and fluoridated water. Fluoride is your friend and one of your biggest allies, fighting alongside you to help keep your teeth as healthy for years to come!