Fluoride: Friend or Foe?

The worldwide web is great place to receive information about the topic of fluoride, but what information should you believe and has it left you with your concerns being alleviated or worsened?

What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, plants and fresh water. It is used universally and can be found in many forms including its incorporation into our bottled and tap water, most toothpastes, mouthwashes, and the fluoride treatment you receive after your 6 monthly scale and clean. 

What are the benefits?
Topical application of fluoride such as toothpaste, mouthwashes and tooth mousse will help to strengthen the outer enamel layer of the tooth. Whilst the ingestion of fluoride  i.e. fluoridated water, are incorporated into our saliva to aid with the remineralisation, or process of replacing lost minerals, of our teeth. 

Is it safe?
Yes! Scientific research to this day has not found fluoride to have any harmful effects to our general wellbeing. And although it is a natural compound, there are still many safety measures in place to ensure our wellbeing. One example you may have noticed in toothpastes, is that the recommended amount of fluoride dosage is determined by age. So the younger the child and higher risk of ingestion, the lesser the amount of fluoride found in the toothpaste.  

How do I know if I’m getting enough fluoride?
For the average person living in a water fluoridated area, are generally healthy and has oral hygiene products readily available- make sure you are using a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, have your recommended 2 litres of fluoridated water a day, and don’t pass on your bi-annual fluoride treatment at the dentist!
If any of those factors are not applicable to you, and ensure you are getting your recommended dose please, please feel free to discuss this with any of our highly trained dental professionals here at Aim. 

Can you have too much fluoride?
Dental fluorosis occurs mostly in children when there has been over exposure to fluoride, leaving teeth looking discoloured or with brown spots. Whilst this damage is usually only cosmetic, is important to note that although we are exposed to fluoride in many different forms, these are all in very minute amounts and can only do more damage than good when exposed to substantial amounts. So, stick to your fluoridated toothpaste and 2 litres of fluoridated water a day, unless instructed otherwise by a dental professional.

For more information on Fluoride, click here to visit our blog on sensitive toothpastes or call 1300 AIM DENTAL  or go online to book in an appointment with one of our Dentists.