To use fluoride or not to use fluoride? That is the question many of us do not know if we should be asking. Several new studies have shown negative effects of using fluoride in drinking water while others continue to rely on its beneficial value. Duffield Dentistry offers a few informational points so you can approach this sensitive topic in a way that is the most comfortable for you.
The Fluoridation of Drinking Water
Fluoride was found to reduce the number of people with tooth decay, prevent bacteria from growing and increase the number of healthy mouths overall. In the 1940s, it was introduced into mainstream water supplies so that even those unable to visit the dentist would be able to have cleaner mouths. Some recent studies have found that excessive fluoride amounts in drinking water can be damaging for teeth and other parts of the body. You can drink purified water from bottles if you believe your water contains too much fluoride.
For specific information regarding fluoride in water bottles, please visit the CDC guidelines.
Dental Fluoride Treatments
There is even some controversy on fluoride used in dental treatments. The amount of fluoride used in your yearly fluoride treatment is just the right amount to effectively prevent tooth decay without causing harm. Fluoride treatments happen only every other six months because dentists know your drinking water also contains just enough to keep your teeth clean in between dental treatments. The treatment makes teeth more resistant to acids and bacteria that would normally strip away the tooth’s enamel. Infants and children between 6 months and 16 years of age are encouraged to receive fluoride treatments in order to strengthen primary and adult teeth as they grow into adulthood.
Ingestion vs. Rinsing
The main issues with fluoride occur when it is digested in heavy amounts, through drinking water, mouthwash and toothpaste sources. Dentists agree that ingestion of fluoride-based products are not wise and these products should only be used for rinsing purposes and then removed from the mouth. It is especially vital to monitor children using mouthwash and toothpaste to ensure they do not swallow either of these products.
The best way to determine if fluoride should concern you is by talking with your dentist about potential effects fluoride treatments may cause. Ask your dentist about their opinion and weigh your decision based on personal research as well as their guided expertise.
Duffield Dentistry Lets You Decide
Duffield Dentistry is more than happy to share decades of experience with you and your family about the controversy on fluoride. You can even choose whether or not to receive the treatment! Call (248) 721-4502 today to schedule an appointment or contact us online for more information.