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How Fluoride Affects Your Teeth

Fluoride is the ionized form of the element fluorine and can be found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and even public drinking water. In fact, communities have been adding fluoride to water to help reduce tooth decay in the general public. However, as concerns increase about fluoride’s toxicity, some experts are even calling public water fluoridation into question. So, what are the actual benefits of fluoride, and do they outweigh the potential risks? To help you understand fluoride better, Thornton Park Dental Arts is reviewing fluoride’s pros and cons.For safe teeth cleaning and recommendations, schedule a consultation with Thornton Park Dental Arts today!

Prevents Tooth Decay

Research has long shown fluoride helps prevent tooth cavities and even reverse early decay. It strengthens the enamel to make it more resistant to plaque and acids that weaken tooth enamel. This prevents tooth loss and the need for dental fillings, crowns, and bridges. This main benefit is why communities started adding it to the water decades ago when there were fewer advancements and access to dental processes.

Potential Toxicity

At low levels, people only experience the benefits of fluoride, but higher fluoride levels can impact bone development and cause gastrointestinal discomfort. This can be lethal at extremely high doses, which is rare, but many people have an issue with fluoride being added into public water without their consent. In fact, many experts question the need for modern water fluoridation, citing that toothpaste and mouthwash have adequate amounts of fluoride.

Healthier Teeth For Longer

Because fluoride prevents tooth decay and strengthens enamel, people are keeping their teeth healthy for much longer. Teeth are a vital part of healthy aging, helping break down foods to make the absorption of vitamins and nutrients easier and fuel your body better. Keeping their natural teeth is important for many people’s self-image, though dental implants have come a long way.

Can Cause Cosmetic Damage

Fluoride may cause a condition known as fluorosis, which causes irreversible tooth discoloration in children’s forming teeth. This condition cannot be fixed with teeth whitening but instead will require porcelain veneers to cover the discolored tooth. While not a medical concern, this discoloration can affect people’s self-esteem, especially since it becomes present early in a person’s life.