Fluoride – Myths and Facts

Fluoride – Myths and Facts

It’s rare that you think of fluoride without thinking of the dentist; fluoride and oral health go hand in hand. In this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about the mineral fluoride and how it affects the health and well-being of your pearly whites.

First Things First: What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel of your teeth and helps prevent dental caries, commonly called cavities. Fluoride can be applied topically (directly to the tooth) or systemically through ingestion. Because Americans typically won’t get enough fluoride from natural sources, fluoride intake is supplemented in two common ways:

Myths and Facts about Fluoride

Let’s talk about the myths and facts surrounding fluoride so you can help make sense of some of the opinions you may have heard and make the most informed decisions for you and your family.

Myth: Adding fluoride to drinking water is like forcing people to take medication.

The truth is that fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that naturally exists in all water supplies (and even many brands of bottled water). Fortifying drinking water with fluoride can be likened to fortifying milk with vitamin D, salt with iodine, or bread and cereal with folic acid.

Myth: Exposure to fluoride can lower IQ in children.

In some parts of the world, drinking water naturally contains fluoride levels three or more times the recommended level. In these areas, studies have been conducted to evaluate the negative effects of these increased levels of fluoride on children, and a lower IQ was reported in one study. Lower IQ is not a result of fluoridated tap water, fluoride treatments at your dental office, or using over-the-counter products that contain fluoride such as mouth rinse or toothpaste.

Myth: Fluoride treatments are a waste of money.

While it’s important to consider the return on investment when making financial decisions, fluoride varnish is one investment you can stand behind. Fluoride varnish prevents up to “37% of decay in primary teeth,” which saves you money down the road.

Schedule an Appointment

To take the first step toward a healthy smile today, find your local Ideal Dental office to schedule a visit with our caring team today!