There are several myths surrounding dental care, in part due to a movement towards remedies and supplements that are considered “natural.” If you’ve spoken to anyone on this journey, or read any blogs or articles online, it’s possible that you’ve come across a particularly peculiar myth: that fluoride is a harmful chemical that you need to watch out for and cut from your oral healthcare routine. In today’s blog, your Cleveland, TX, dentist will clear up the misconceptions surrounding fluoride by answering real questions that you might be having. If you have any further questions, you can always call us at Cleveland Family Dentistry, or ask us at your next checkup and cleaning.
Questions and Answers
Question: Is fluoride natural?
Answer: Yes! Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. It is found in several places in nature, including soil, rocks, and most natural water features like rivers, lakes, and oceans. It is a chemical ion of the element fluorine, meaning it is created when the negatively-charged element fluorine meets a positively-charged element like sodium. This chemical reaction occurs naturally and in nature, making fluoride completely natural.
Question: Is fluoride harmful?
Answer: Only in very large amounts. Just like with anything, too much of a good thing isn’t good for you. The amounts of fluoride used in toothpaste, mouthwash, treatments at the dentist, and in our water supplies are not enough to hurt you in any way. But, we certainly wouldn’t recommend you eating a whole tube of toothpaste, and you should still always spit out toothpaste and mouthwash after using them!
Question: What does fluoride do to my teeth?
Answer: Fluoride strengthens the enamel (the hard outer part) of your teeth, which aids in protection against cavities. If you are experiencing any early signs of tooth decay, fluoride can also help rebuild your tooth, reversing those signs through a process called remineralization.
Question: Do I need to use fluoride in toothpaste if it’s already in the water I drink?
Answer: Yes! Many community water supplies do add extra fluoride to the drinking water that goes into our homes to raise the already present amount to the amount recommended to help our teeth the most, as told by the Surgeon General and the CDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). However, fluoride in water works best when paired with fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash, so the ADA (American Dental Association) still recommends brushing twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to protect your teeth against cavities.
Want to Learn More?
Fluoride is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. To learn more about its benefits, or to schedule an appointment, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also serve the residents of Kingwood, Conroe, Livingston, and all surrounding communities.