La Costa dental professional Dr. Michelle Sandler can say with certainty that people have very intense opinions about fluoride. Most dentists are strongly in favor of fluoride, but many people are concerned about the potential negative effects that fluoride can cause. This article will cover what fluoride is, the pros and cons of fluoride, and top-rated Carlsbad dentist recommendations.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that can be found in soil, water, plants, and the human body. It occurs in the body as calcium fluoride, and is mainly found in teeth and bones. A lack of fluoride can result in cavities and weak bones. Because of all this, fluoride has been added to the drinking water of cities across America for the last seventy years. This is considered by many to be among the greatest public health achievements in modern history! The American Dental Association reports that it is effective in preventing tooth decay in kids and adults by at least 25%.
Fluoridated bottled water and fluoridated salt is available to residents in areas without fluoridated tap water, and fluoridate supplement pills can also be prescribed. Those in the Southern California area, though, can generally count on their water to be fluoridated. You can check with your local dentist in La Jolla, Solana Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles or Carlsbad to confirm.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why most toothpastes and mouthwashes have fluoride, that’s why! Seventy plus years of research has demonstrated that it is safe, effective, and affordable in comparison to the conditions that it prevents. Despite this research, there are many opponents to fluoride who feel it is actually quite detrimental to health and well-being. There are risks associated with ingesting too much fluoride, but it is very difficult to actually use enough to be a problem.
Babies and children have lower tolerance levels, and parents should follow their dentist’s instructions regarding fluoride use for their particular child. Appropriate amounts will depend on if the tap water is fluoridated, and how much, as well as the mother’s health, and what additional foods or tooth care products the child consumes. Babies and children who receive too much fluoride have been known to develop stained or ridged teeth. This seems to defeat the entire purpose of the fluoride, although these problems are cosmetic and not as detrimental to the health as cavities. The permanent discoloration can be upsetting on a psychological and social level, though, so it is a very valid concern.
It is also worth noting that people with certain health issues, such as kidney problems, are discouraged from using fluoride. Ultimately, you should consult with your dentist to determine whether fluoride is right for you. The vast majority of people will not experience any problems due to fluoride, though, so don’t hesitate to use your toothpaste or drink from the tap!