Fluoride is a mineral found in both food and water. Over the years, fluoride has been heavily incorporated into dental health practices. It can be found in tubes of toothpaste and bottles of mouthwash. Over the years, it has even been incorporated into water supplies. Due to its wide implementation, many people have speculated about the benefits of fluoride and if it is potentially harmful.
There are many rumors that are spread about fluoride implementation, many of which are completely untrue or not backed up by scientific evidence. Some of the most common myths that are spread about fluoride are:
- Fluoride shouldn’t be in the drinking water because it causes cancer- Fluoride naturally occurs in water and, thus, isn’t out of place there. Additionally, exposing your teeth to additional fluoride can only make them stronger and healthier. There have been no scientific studies that suggest that water with fluoride yields higher cancer rates than in areas without fluoride in the water.
- Fluoride is bad for children- Introducing young children to fluoride can help strengthen their teeth over time and will not cause adverse effects. Fluoride is not only safe for young children but also for babies as well.
- Fluoride isn’t needed in the water because it’s already in toothpaste- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the amount of fluoride that is present in toothpaste isn’t enough to help strengthen and preserve our teeth. Water with fluoride provides additional and necessary protection to our teeth.
- People who consume fluoride get fluorosis- Fluorosis happens as a result of a person drinking too much fluoride, or past the recommended healthy amount. The likelihood of developing this is very rare and would require a massive consumption rate. The amount of fluoride in the water is extremely mild and would not be enough to produce this level of illness.
There are many other myths online about fluoride but scientists and dental professionals agree that fluoride provides amazing benefits to consistent users.
While fluoride has been met with skepticism and criticism, it provides many wonderful benefits for active users. Thorough research has shown that:
- Children who have a healthy fluoride intake have healthier teeth- The younger that children are exposed to fluoride, the healthier and stronger their teeth become as they age. Building the habit of brushing their teeth with fluoride and drinking adequate water with fluoride will help protect their teeth from cavities and any other dental issues.
- Fluoride prevents the teeth from losing minerals- Plaque and bacteria can cause tooth decay and strip the teeth of natural minerals. Using fluoride as a part of your dental health routine and drinking it in water can restore your teeth with the minerals that they need to fight off tooth decay.
- Fluoride helps build healthy communities- Studies have shown that for every $1 spent on adding fluoride to communities, the community saves $38 dollars in dental health treatments. This saves millions of dollars per year on complicated dental treatments and, in turn, gives community members stronger and healthier smiles.
- The implementation of fluoride has made our teeth healthier- While many people still suffer from tooth decay and other tooth infections, the vast majority of Americans have seen stronger teeth with fewer issues than ever before. Every year, fewer people are in need of intense and costly dental treatments thanks to the wide implementation of fluoride.
In short, fluoride has many benefits and is an asset to the American public. It has saved countless people millions of dollars in dental costs and has been proven to be a good and necessary application facilitated by scientists and the government.