Fluoride Beyond the Conspiracy Theories

Family Dentist Edison, Metuchen, & South Plainfield, NJOne of the truly detestable things about the Internet is that it gives anyone a platform, regardless of their pursuit of factual evidence. That’s how a former Playboy centerfold became the poster child for doing away with vaccines.

Uh, who wants a return of polio? Anyone? Measles?

Fluoride has its own share of whacko websites. These sites claim that fluoride is poisoning us and advocate its removal from municipal water supplies, where fluoride has been added for over 60 years. Of course, these sites fail to cite the mountain of evidence of the benefits of fluoride in preventing tooth decay. But who’s letting facts get in the way?

At Gentle Dental, we provide fluoride treatments for our younger patients to protect their teeth. Plus, we also provide it for older patients whose enamel is a little thinner than it once was.

Here’s why we love fluoride.

What is it and how does fluoride protect your teeth?

You could say your mouth is like a mine in the Colorado. All through the day minerals are coming and going. Demineralization and remineralization — those are the two processes where minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

Another thing the anti-fluoride groups don’t understand is that fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, like it or not. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

Fluoride treatments at Gentle Dental

Don’t believe the nut jobs — fluoride is the great tooth defender! We provide fluoride treatments at Gentle Dental to give our patients a more concentrated occasional fluoride application. We apply fluoride varnish topically at each appointment of our younger patients. Call us at (732) 549-5660 and set up your appointment.

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