You brush with it. Chances are, you drink it. Fluoride has been around for a long time, and there’s a very good reason. It does great things for your teeth. But every now and then, people talk online about how fluoride is somehow bad for you.
Don’t listen to the fake news about fluoride. Call our Lancaster, CA dental office today at 661-524-8457 and schedule your next appointment. Dr. Boyle stays on top of new dental research each year, making him your Lancaster dentist who knows why fluoride is not just safe but good for you.
Ignoring the Fluoride Fake News
Fake news is itself in the news a lot recently. It’s when someone makes a false statement and passes it along as news (or at least true). Many times, this is just a simple case of misunderstanding things, although some people peddle fake news on purpose.
That’s why there’s fake news about fluoride. Although scientific studies for many years have repeatedly shown fluoride to be safe, some people say it’s harmful. True, you could get harmed if you ingested extremely large doses. But that’s true for calcium, potassium, salt, and even water. So when well-meaning people don’t understand the science behind fluoride, they can confuse things.
You also need to be careful about sites that tell you fluoride is bad — and then try to sell you an ebook or similar product. It’s an age-old idea: Create a fake problem, then sell a fake solution.
How Fluoride Helps Your Smile
Why does the American Dental Association recommend fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water? Because it helps strengthen and protect your smile.
- Fluoride makes the enamel on your teeth better able to resist damage, including cavities.
- Fluoride can reverse tiny amounts of damage done to your teeth.
- In children, fluoride can even make adult teeth stronger before they fully appear.
That’s why it’s recommended by people who understand the science behind fluoride. People who use fluoride in their toothpaste and drinking water have less dental problems. It’s as simple as that.
The Truth About Fluoride
Here are some of the most stubborn myths about fluoride and why they are myths.
MYTH: Fluoride leads to lower IQ scores.
A few years ago, a study claimed to link using fluoride with having a lower IQ. However, there are two problems with this study. First, most of the data came from China, not the US. Second, the amounts of fluoride used were incredibly higher than what you would ingest.
Between drinking water and toothpaste, you likely receive around 0.7 milligrams of fluoride each day. But in this study, the participants took in anywhere from 2.0 – 8.0 milligrams. That’s up to 10 times as much! Imagine how healthy you would be if you ate 10 times the recommended daily amount of salt or sugar.
MYTH: Fluoride hurts people because it’s used in poison.
This myth happens because some people do not understand that fluoride comes in many forms.
Take chlorine, the stuff used to clean pools. That stuff is toxic to humans. Yet one form of chlorine (sodium chloride) is essential because that’s table salt. Making a small change to the substance can make a huge difference to your body. There is one version of fluoride found in poison, but the version you get in water and toothpaste is very different — and very safe.
MYTH: Fluoride does not belong in water.
When communities began adding fluoride to drinking water, a few people complained that this was unnatural. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fluoride is found naturally in drinking water taken from wells. In fact, that’s how scientists discovered fluoride’s health effects. People who drank well water with fluoride in it had much better teeth than those who did not.
MYTH: Fluoride is a man-made chemical.
If you tell someone they’re eating something with chemicals in it, they will at least pause. That’s because the word “chemical” sounds bad. But to be honest, most things are chemicals. Even water (H2O) is technically a chemical. Fluoride is a natural element that we add to things, just like calcium, iodine, and potassium. All of those are technically chemicals too.
Call us TODAY at 661-524-8457 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next appointment with our Lancaster dentist. Fluoride has been shown to be safe, and it helps make your teeth stronger and healthier.