What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is the negative ion of the element fluorine. Fluoride is a key mineral that can be found in your bones and teeth. It can be naturally found in our environment in water, soil, plants, and rocks.
What Are The Facts?
Fluoride is used in a dental setting to strengthen the enamel of teeth and prevent decay. Typically water that is naturally sourced does not have a high enough level of fluoride to protect teeth. In the United States, most public water is treated with fluoride with a process called water fluoridation.
Bacteria living in your mouth cause many forms of oral disease. When bacteria break down carbs it produced acids that damage tooth enamel. When the acid breaks down the minerals in the enamel this is a process called demineralization. Fluoride may prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria growth and remineralizing the enamel.
Is It Safe?
Toxicity is related to dose. While large doses of fluoride could be toxic, it is important to recognize the difference between the effects of a massive dose of an extremely high level of fluoride versus the fluoride level currently recommended for public water systems. In a dental setting, fluoride is typically applied after a cleaning. It is a low dose and not harmful. Fluoride is often found in toothpaste too. As long as it is not ingested in large quantities it is perfectly safe. That is why it is suggested to supervise small children brushing their teeth so they do not swallow toothpaste.
If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to our office and ask!