Is Fluoride Treatment Safe?
Fluoride use is controversial today. Even though many people know fluoride is toxic, they are told it is necessary for healthier teeth. While many patients need topical fluoride treatments, most people don’t need it. It has benefits at times, but with safer alternatives, it’s just not worth the many risks that accompany it.
Does Fluoride Work?
Experts long thought that sodium fluoride, the type of fluoride found in toothpaste, could allow for remineralization of the teeth and can even heal cavities. However, prescription toothpaste are made acidic, breaking down the tooth to maximize the amount of fluoride that can enter. The fluoride found in over-the-counter toothpaste is fairly useless, mainly since the toothpaste doesn’t contain enough fluoride aid remineralization.
As it turns out, fluoride found in water doesn’t help prevent cavities, and it goes through your bloodstream to the rest of your body if you swallow it. Moreover, no conclusive evidence that ingesting fluoride reduces your risk of cavities.
Alternatives to Fluoride
Most patients don’t need toothpaste that remineralize cavities. There are other methods to reverse cavities that are far more effective, such as practicing proper oral hygiene, eating a balanced diet, and rinsing your mouth out after eating sugary or acidic foods.
Patients who require additional support remineralizing can use toothpaste with nano-hydroxyapatite particles, which does a much better job at reversing decalcification of the teeth and causes none of the complications associated with fluoride.
Nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste contain tiny, nano-sized bone fragments that are incorporated by the teeth, strengthening the enamel and remineralizing the surface. They outdo fluoride treatments and are completely non-toxic.
We do not recommend fluoridated toothpaste for children below age eight, as they often will accidentally swallow too much toothpaste. This can cause side effects ranging from fluorosis (mottled teeth) to toxic poisoning. Consider: if the benefits of fluoride outweigh the risks, why do fluoride toothpaste tubes tell you to call poison control if you swallow more than a teaspoon of it?
Do I need Fluoride to Prevent Tooth Decay?
Fluoride is not critical to preventing cavities or reversing tooth decay. People get oral diseases and cavities when they don’t observe proper oral hygiene or eat a proper diet, not because they don’t use fluoride (breathing through the mouth rather than the nose and genetics are also factors).
Individuals who mainly eat fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water instead of sodas and fruit juices will hardly ever experience cavities. These people will have very low bacterial activity because the foods and drinks they consume will naturally heal cavities and prevent tooth decay and because they’re avoiding foods and drinks that cause tooth decay most directly.
In the end, fluoride is not necessary. Moreover, when we put an inordinate focus on it, we lose sight of the more important proactive steps we must take to prevent and reverse tooth decay. The best tips we suggest in this area are to:
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.