First of all, what is “fluoride,” and why is it important to my dental health? Well, fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth and widely available in nature. Many foods and water supplies contain fluoride.
Many studies were conducted to prove that putting fluoride into water resulted in fewer cavities, and today, organization likes The American Dental Association, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have endorsed the use of fluoride in water supplies due to its positive effect on tooth decay. Sodium fluoride or another type of fluoride are added to toothpaste in order to reduce tooth decay.
Fluoride is good for both children and adults in moderate doses. Fluoride helps to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth by working during the demineralization and remineralization processes that naturally occur in the mouth.
Many communities around the United States and other countries fortify the drinking water with fluoride. If your community has fluoride-fortified water, and you brush regularly with a toothpaste that contains fluoride, you are probably getting the right amount of fluoride daily. However, if you do not have access to fluoride-foritied water, it’s especially important to brush with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
So, how much fluoride is too much?
In recent years, there has been some backlash against fluoride as fluoride toxicity and other risks associated with fluoride. However, to have harmful effects from fluoride, intake would have to be very high and over a short period of time. The lethal dose of fluoride for most adults is estimated at 5 to 10 g. At lower levels of 0.2 to 0.3 mg/kg, adults may experience gastrointestinal discomfort.
The lesson learned? Fluoride in very small doses throughout the day is good for your dental health, and because you would have to consume a relatively high amount of the mineral to have it cause toxicity, it’s worth continuing to use fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoride fortified water in moderation.
Do you have more questions about fluoride? Contact the professionals at DentaLux today!