The Myths and Facts of Fluoride

We’ve seen this ingredient in toothpaste, but what does fluoride do for your teeth?

And is it safe to use?

Today, we’re debunking some of the most common myths about fluoride (and sharing a few interesting facts you should know).

Myth or Fact: Fluoride Destroys Teeth

Myth: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that builds strong teeth and stops cavities.

So, what does fluoride do for your teeth, and how does it work? This compound works by remineralizing your teeth. Remineralization is the process of depositing minerals back into damaged areas of your teeth.

And when fluoride is used correctly, it can accelerate the rate of growth and the size of your enamel crystals. Fluoride also strengthens your enamel by preventing future attacks from plaque’s acidic bacteria. 

Myth or Fact: Fluoride is Natural

Fact: The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine, the 13th most abundant element in earth’s crust. 

Although this element doesn’t roam around freely in nature, it can exist when bonded to other elements (like the fluoride compound). 

Fluoride is found in minerals of rocks and soil all over the earth.

Then, water passes over these rock formations, dissolving these compounds, which causes fluoride ions to release. This is why you can find fluoride ions in water (including our oceans and drinking water). Fluoride is even found in foods and drinks, like potatoes, raisins, grapes, shrimp, wine, coffee, and more!

Myth or Fact: Fluoride is Very Toxic

Myth: Fluoride is not a drug or medication. And it is absolutely safe when used as directed. Fluoride is also transparent. It is tasteless and odorless, and naturally made.

The only report of toxicity associated with excessive fluoride consumption is a cosmetic condition called dental fluorosis. 

But, when used in the correct dosage, fluoride is essential to oral health treatment and supports healthy tooth enamel growth. In addition, this compound prevents the loss of a permanent tooth, which protects your smile and increases your risk for bone loss.

Fluoride even fights bacteria that can harm your gums. Babies and children especially need fluoride to strengthen their growing teeth, preventing tooth decay later in adulthood.

Myth or Fact: Science Fully Supports Fluoride 

Fact: By either ingesting or applying to teeth topically, fluoride reduces the solubility of enamel in acidic plaque.

And what is plaque? Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that produces acid (after you eat or drink). These acids eat away at your tooth enamel, causing gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.

Fluoride gives rise to an enamel surface that is more resistant to future decay. 

Using fluoride and keeping up with your regular dental care is crucial to sustaining healthy teeth throughout your life (and preventing severe disease, including oral cancer).

Tooth pain, decay, or cavities—we have you covered.At Your Community Dental, we strive to provide excellent dental care for you and your loved ones. We serve all ages and accept many insurance providers, including PPOs and NC Medicaid. Call us today to schedule your dental visit!