For several decades, fluoride has played a role in public health by being a part of the drinking water, which helps in the fight against tooth decay. However, there are many in the dental industry who feel like fluoride is not as great as we have come to think, the dental industry seems to be torn on whether or not it fluoridated water, toothpaste, and mouthwash is good for oral health or if it is actually a potentially-toxic product.
Fluoridation of the public water started nearly 60 years ago. When it comes to tooth decay, having fluoride in the water showed an undeniable improvement, in the general population. However, many still remain skeptical.
The sole purpose of fluoride is to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, which should (so research has shown) prevent cavities and tooth loss. This assumption has been called into question over time. In fact, many studies have shown that fluoride may cause a cosmetically damaging effect called fluorosis.
Fluorosis: “a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds, marked by mottling of the teeth and, if severe, calcification of the ligaments.”
In layman’s terms: “white or opaque spots on the tooth.”
Although there hasn’t been sufficient proof to back up the pros or the cons of making fluoride a part of your oral health, there have been many studies to try and get to the bottom of the “fluoride movement.” No matter how it affects your oral health, proper hygiene should always be at the front of the line when it comes to taking care of your mouth. ALWAYS brush your teeth twice a day, floss (at least) once a day, and make professional-dental visits a major part of your dental routine. Fluorinated water or toothpaste aside, it is up to you to keep your mouth healthy, happy, and ready to smile throughout your lifetime.