Fluoride is a pretty universal part of oral health nowadays. It’s in most toothpastes, some mouthwash, and it’s even available in supplement form! It’s a well-accepted and highly regarded way to prevent damage to teeth through decay but there’s still a lot of fluoride fear out there!
At Anderson Dental Care we don’t want you to be worried about the safety of fluoride or any of the fluoride products we use to prevent tooth decay. Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common fluoride myths and try to dispel any fears that you may have. Fluoride is a safe, effective way to protect you and your family’s smiles!
Most fluoride myths stem from its addition to water supplies. 2015 actually marks the 70th anniversary of fluoridated water in the United States! That’s where most of these myths come from but we’ll try to cover some others as well.
Myth #1: Fluoride Is Toxic!
Like any chemical, fluoride can be toxic in high doses. For fluoride those doses are really, really high! Fluoride in the water is generally added at a ratio of about 0.081 milligrams for every 100 grams of water. At that rate you’d have to drink over ten liters of water to even begin feeling ill! To put that in perspective the average recommended daily intake of water is just three liters.
In other products the fluoride levels are closely controlled as well. Poisoning from many of the products that contain fluoride would happen due to other compounds and chemicals present before it would happen due to fluoride! And just imagine trying to drink ten liters of water …
Myth #2: Fluoride Is Linked To Low IQ Scores
While there has been a suggested link to fluoride and low IQ scores the studies that suggest this need to be closely examined. The results often cited for this are from countries like Iran, Mongolia, and China where natural fluoride levels in the water are ten times higher than our fluoridated levels in the United States!
The fluoride in the water consumed by those people is sure to cause at least some harm, especially to younger children who don’t need as much. Regardless, the difference measured was negligible and was actually within the normal range of error for IQ tests!
As a final nail in the coffin of this myth we should consider American IQ test results since fluoridation began in 1945: they’ve gone up on average of 15 points!
Myth #3: Fluoridation Is A Waste Of Money!
Fluoridation of water has been largely considered one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. Not only has it been incredibly effective in reducing cavity rates in the American population it’s also really cheap!
Studies have further shown that fluoridation of water actually saves taxpayers way more than it costs! On average, every dollar spent on water fluoridation has saved the average person $38 on dental care! Fluoride helps stop cavities before they form, reduce cavity development, and it actually makes your teeth stronger than they were before!
Myth #4: Tooth Decay Is Under Control So We Should Stop Water Fluoridation
This argument implies that fluoridation is unsafe and tooth decay isn’t a problem anymore. Unfortunately the whole point of this argument lies in the very thing it’s arguing against: our teeth are healthier because of fluoridated water!
That argument is similar to anti-vaccination arguments. The reason we can say that fluoride and vaccines don’t matter anymore is because they’ve been so effective! By eliminating them from our society now we’re running the risk of reintroducing a lot of problems that have already been solved!
Fluoride Use: It’s A No-Brainer!
There are plenty of rumors and misinformation floating around about fluoride use. We encourage you to go out there and do some research on your own to find out why they’re incorrect or poorly researched. Fluoride is just as beneficial to your teeth as a thorough cleaning and exam at our Cincinnati dentist office, and we encourage you to do plenty of both!
Make an appointment at Anderson Dental Care today by calling (513) 231-7755! You can also request an appointment right here online – just fill out our handy form! We look forward to helping you keep a healthy mouth for years to come!