The Fluoride Controversy

For some time now, it has been a debate among dental and health professionals about whether or not fluoride is actually good for you and your teeth.

It turns out the answer is both. Fluoride does have a protective mechanism for your teeth, but in certain circumstances it can also be harmful. It seems to have it’s most benefit in patients who are having braces, who are older than 8, and in patients with dry mouth or who are elderly and may have more trouble with dexterity. If you get too much fluoride, it could potentiallity cause softening of the enamel and create white spots called flourosis.

It is probably safe to assume that you use fluoride toothpaste. Most people do. Also, many areas of the United States have fluoridated water. Chances are, you ingest much more fluoride than you are aware of.

Fluoride in small amounts can be good for your teeth. It strengthens your enamel, the natural protection for your teeth, and keeps your teeth healthy. If your dentist gives you a fluoride treatment at your dental checkups and cleanings, don’t be afraid to take it. The key is not to swallow the fluoride.

Fluorosis is a condition caused by over-exposure to fluoride that can cause crumbling of the enamel and permanent damage to teeth. If given in higher doses to younger children, the condition can sometimes be more serious and effect bones.

In 2007, the American Dental Association (ADA) warned parents of children younger than a year old to use water with low or no levels of fluoride to avoid the child developing fluorosis. Now, this warning has expanded to using fluoridated toothpastes and has increased to children younger than 8 years of age.

I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom, a dentist in Cupertino, California, and as a healthcare provider, I have the best interests of my patients at heart. A little topical fluoride is perfectly okay to give a boost to those who can benefit from the extra protection, just remember not to swallow it.

For more information, please call my office at (408) 996-8595. My team and I are happy to discuss fluoride treatment with you.

~ by cupertinodentist on February 6, 2011.

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