As early as 1901 a dentist in Colorado noted and documented the presence of brown stains on people’s teeth. At the time, it was referred to as ‘Colorado stain’. It took another 30 years for the dentist that discovered it to realise that it was caused by the water and the people living in the area suffered from less tooth decay. The difference in the water was the presence of fluoride.
In 1945 fluoride was first added to the water supply in the US. Other states and countries followed. However, today, research has been completed that suggests there is a link between fluoride and cancer.
It’s time to take a look at fluoride more closely.
The Myth – Fluoride Causes Cancer
Obviously, there has been heated debate regarding the research. However, the truth is that the studies so far completed have been done on rats and mice. While rats showed an increased risk of cancer, mice didn’t. Human studies have yet to be completed. At worst the evidence is inconclusive. But, further investigations by establishments such as the American cancer society illustrate that fluoride doesn’t pose an increased risk of cancer.
Fluoride Protects Teeth
The best way of looking after your teeth is to brush them twice a day and floss at least once. Alongside this, you should see a dentist, such as this reputable dentist Narre Warren, regularly. That will allow any issues to be discovered and treated early.
You’ll find fluoride in many kinds of toothpaste, dental treatment products, and the water supply, and you can even get fluoride supplements. It is a mineral and it has been shown to help boost the strength of the enamel on your teeth.
In short, it can help your teeth stay healthy and reduce the appearance of cavities.
The Issue With Fluoride
However, while fluoride is beneficial for tooth strength, there are some issues with it. Studies suggest that fluoride, when ingested, can be toxic to young children. The effects are less pronounced in adults.
This is why children are encouraged to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste only and they are told never to swallow it.
Unfortunately, the reality s that many children don’t know the risks and use more toothpaste than they should, increasing the likelihood of accidentally ingesting it.
It’s also important to note that fluoride can cause blemishes on your teeth. These are usually white stains although they can be brown and they are permanent. It’s a sign the fluoride is helping but it does damage your ability to get a naturally white smile.
Your Next Step
Deciding whether to let your children use fluoride products is difficult. Your best approach is to look at the facts above and speak with their dentist. While there are alternatives that can help to strengthen teeth, these are relatively new and may produce their own side effects.
Your best approach is to continue with the fluoride toothpaste but monitor your children when brushing. Of course, regular dental visits are essential.