Fluoride: Myths vs. Facts

Fluoride is a common mineral, which occurs naturally in our food and water. It can have a number of health benefits for our teeth and bones. Fluoride offers increased protection from tooth decay, since it strengthens enamel. Because of its dental-health-protecting properties, it’s not surprising that fluoride is added to toothpastes and mouth washes. It also is used as a treatment by many dentists to help strengthen their patients’ teeth.

Unfortunately, there are a number of myths and misconceptions about fluoride that leave people wondering how safe fluoride really is. It can be easy to feel confused when faced with so much conflicting information, so our Austell dentists are taking a closer look at some of the myths of fluoride, as well as the truths behind them.

Myth: Drinking Fluoridated Water Will Give You Fluorosis

Fact: Fluorosis can occur when you ingest very high levels of fluoride, but it is difficult to ingest enough of the mineral under normal circumstances to experience fluorosis. The levels of fluoride in water in the U.S. is well below the levels needed for adverse effects to occur.

Myth: Fluoride Is Bad for Children

Fact: Fluoride, when used as intended, is not a danger to children. Most public water supplies are treated with small amounts of fluoride, and it is often used in toothpastes. Both of these measures contribute to better tooth development and prevents tooth decay. If you are concerned about your child’s fluoride intake, discuss their needs with their dentist or schedule an appointment with our team at Austell Dental Associates to learn more.

Myth: Fluoridated Water Is Expensive and Doesn’t Prevent Tooth Decay

Fact: It is actually very inexpensive to fluoridate a city’s water supply, especially when compared to the costs of treating tooth decay in a community. It has been shown in more than 70 years’ worth of research that fluoridation can reduce tooth decay. This research began when researchers realized that those living in areas with naturally high levels of fluoride in the water suffered lower levels of cavities and tooth decay. Since then, fluoride has been firmly linked to stronger, healthier teeth.

Myth: Fluoride Causes Cancer or Autism

Fact: There have been numerous studies exploring the effects of fluoride on our health, and it has not been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autism, or kidney problems. Both the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians have endorsed fluoride as being safe for human consumption.

Myth: Fluoride Is Unnatural

Fact: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water and food sources. Fluoridation simply increases the levels found in water to an amount that is effective in decreasing tooth decay. This level is not high enough to cause health issues, even in combination with fluoridated toothpastes or mouthwashes.

Myth: Water Fluoridation Is Unnecessary Because of Fluoride in Toothpaste

Fact: The fluoride levels in toothpastes and mouthwashes is not significant enough to provide full protection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fluoridated water provides additional protection to minimize tooth decay.

At Austell Dental Associates, it’s our mission to protect your family’s oral health. Our experienced Austell dentists offer a variety of services, from preventative dental care to protect your teeth to cosmetic procedures to keep your smile looking beautiful. Schedule an appointment to discover how we can help you enjoy a healthier, happier smile today!

Contact our office by calling (770) 467-3888.


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