Fluoride Pros and Cons: Is Fluoride Safe?

We all want to make efforts to do what’s best for us and our bodies, but that can be difficult when they are so many opposing views on what exactly is good for us. One of those things is fluoride. Let’s look at both sides of the argument to determine whether fluoride is something you should be exposed to.

Where is fluoride found?

Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in some water sources, soil, rocks, and even in the air in varying proportions. Nowadays, it is also added to many dental hygiene products such as toothpaste and mouthwash, and most cities across the U.S. add this mineral to their municipal water supply.

What are its benefits?

The reason fluoride is added to toothpastes and drinking water is because it helps to strengthen the surface of your teeth – the enamel. Fluoride supports the process of remineralization, which makes your teeth stronger and helps to prevent problems further down the line, such as tooth decay. The American Dental Association only gives its seal of acceptance to toothpastes that contain fluoride.

What are the potential side effects?

When consumed in excess, fluoride can have side effects, most notably dental fluorosis. This is more common in young children whose teeth are still forming. Dental fluorosis can lead to white or discolored spots forming on your enamel. Skeletal fluorosis can also occur, affecting your bones and joints. This can present itself in symptoms such as joint stiffness.

So, if we are consuming fluoride in our drinking water, can it lead to fluorosis. Most dental and health professionals agree that the low concentrations of fluoride in our water – 0.7 milligrams per liter – make it perfectly safe for consumption. Fluorosis is more likely to occur as a result of accidentally swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride. Still, others believe that fluoride is a neurotoxin that can be dangerous for our health.

If you’re concerned about consuming fluoride, then you can always switch to a non-fluoride toothpaste and drink more bottled water. On the other hand, if you don’t think you’re getting enough fluoride, then you can also opt for in-office fluoride treatments.

Where do you weigh in on this hot-button issue? Get in touch if you need advice on how to properly take care of your teeth and gums, or to book a check-up with our dentist in Advance, North Carolina.

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