These days, “fake news” is news by itself. Since anyone can go online and make wild claims, it’s getting harder to determine what’s true and what’s not. This has even happened in dentistry because some people are claiming fluoride is either worthless or even harmful.
What’s the truth? Is fluoride safe? Simply put, the kind used for your dental health is perfectly safe for you. In fact, this mineral can do wonders for your teeth.
Why Fluoride Is Fine
Why are some people claiming this is somehow bad for you? Typically, it’s because they do not fully understand chemistry — even though fluoride is not a chemical.
Did you know there are many kinds of fluoride? It bonds with other elements much the same way that chlorine does. On its own, chlorine is a caustic substance that you would never put in your body. But when you combine it with sodium, you have sodium chloride. This is otherwise known as table salt, and your family actually needs some salt to stay healthy.
That’s what happens with the kind of fluoride used in dental treatments, water, and toothpaste. While some versions are not for people, what you get is perfectly safe. Besides, fluoride is not a chemical! It’s a naturally occuring mineral that’s found in well water. Yes, even nature can fluoridate your drinking water. Much like Vitamin D in milk or iodine in salt, fluoride is natural and added to things you use because it helps make your smile healthier.
As with salt, too much can be unhealthy. But the same can be said for almost anything, even drinking water! The amount you get in toothpaste and tap water has been repeatedly proven healthy, even if you get a fluoride treatment at our Houston, TX dentist office.
Know How It Helps Teeth
But how does this help your family’s teeth? First, you should know that cavities are caused by harmful bacteria. They survive on tiny particles of food or drink that get trapped on your teeth and gums. In return, they secrete an acid that erodes your enamel, creating cavities.
Fluoride helps in two ways. First, it soaks into your enamel and makes it stronger. That means your teeth can better resist bacteria and their acid. But scientists have discovered that fluoride actually repairs microscopic damage by forming new enamel. It won’t reverse a large cavity — that still needs a filling or dental crown — but it helps strengthen your teeth.
Call Houston Uptown Dentists today at 832-463-1021 or contact us to request an appointment. You can get fluoride treatments and varnishes to make your teeth stronger, and with our advanced technology such as DIAGNOdent, you can spot any cavities while they are still small enough to be treated easily.