Friday, April 4, 2014

Is Fluoride Really Necessary?

Most of you at some point have received in-office fluoride treatments after your or your child's cleaning. Although these treatments are not required, they often come highly recommended by both your dentist and your hygienist for their many benefits.

Fluoride is a natural occurring cavity fighting mineral often found in drinking water and most toothpastes. Fluoride has been used clinically in dental offices since the early 1930's when physicians and dentists discovered that patients who consumed drinking water containing fluoride suffered 75% less cavities than people who did not drink the fluoridated water. Since then, studies show that the minerals in fluoride help harden the enamel on teeth which in turn helps cut down on the amount of cavities a tooth may be susceptible to. Fluoride also helps remineralize calcified enamel on teeth and has been used to treat areas of the teeth along the gumline that cause sensitivity due to erosion or recession of the gums, leaving the dentin, or 2nd layer of the tooth under the enamel, exposed to the elements.

While there has been controversy as to the health risks of fluoride, the ADA and the FDA have both concluded that clinical routine fluoride treatments and the trace amounts of fluoride found in toothpastes pose no major health risks to the public if used according to the labels or if applied by a dental health professional. Should you have questions as to whether or not fluoride is a recommended treatment for you, do not hesitate to consult with your dental care provider.

Original post from our October 2010 newsletter.

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