What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine. It is found naturally in water, foods, soil, and several minerals.
What are the benefits of Fluoride?
Fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and cavities. Teeth with fluoride in the enamel simply resist acids better than teeth that have not. When bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars, acid is produced that can dissolve tooth structure and cause cavities or erode away the enamel. It protects teeth from demineralization caused by the acid. It can also help with repairing enamel that has been mildly damaged by acids. Studies have shown water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20- 40%, even with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources.
Who should have Fluoride?
Both children and adults can benefit from fluoride use. Especially helpful for those with a history of tooth decay, poor dental hygiene, a high acid/sugar diet and those who experience dry mouth.
What are the risks?
As with any medical treatment, toxic effects can occur with extreme doses. Overdose is possible, for example, if a small child consumes an entire tube of toothpaste or ingests multiple supplement tablets. Fluoride can cause discoloration of enamel if excess amounts are used over long periods of time while the teeth are developing.
What are the alternatives?
There are no known alternatives that provide equal benefit for the health and strength of tooth enamel.
What are the risks of not using Fluoride?
Generally, there is a significantly increased risk of developing cavities.
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