Dental Tips Blog

Aug
1

Fluoride – The Benefits, The Risks, The Alternatives

Some people believe fluoride is a toxin. Others, a vital defense against decay.

What are the facts?

Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found around the world. Ingesting small amounts during childhood helps fortify the teeth and bones while they’re still developing.

Long into adulthood, regular topical fluoride exposure via toothpaste and rinses continue to help. They reinforce existing enamel with a natural cavity-resistant tooth material called fluorapatite. This process also attracts other minerals like calcium to strengthen weak spots.

Additionally, fluoride prevents cavity-causing bacteria from growing on the teeth.

Fluoride Risks

  • Ingesting too much fluoride during childhood can make teeth brittle and discolored
  • Ingesting a lots of fluoride at one time can cause an upset stomach

Besides these, fluoride has no other documented risks. You can easily reduce the only known risks by keeping fluoride products out of reach of children, and use as directed by your dentist.

Alternatives to Fluoride

Decay and enamel wear are caused by bacteria in plaque. This plaque forms within hours after brushing. The longer it’s on your teeth, the more likely it will cause damage. Fluoride keeps on working despite the presence of plaque. But without fluoride, you’ll probably have to brush and floss a lot more.

Make some diet changes. Cutting out sweet drinks, limiting snack sessions, reducing processed carbs, and eating lots of calcium are effective for reducing your cavity risk, naturally.

There are even some fluoride-free toothpastes on the market. To find one that works for you, ask your family dentist.

Proper use of fluoride is a smart way to prevent decay. Talk to your dentist to learn more!

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

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