Myth Busters! Is fluoride good or bad?
Hi Critters, Oswald here 😊
Have you ever heard of the show, Myth Busters? Where they uncover deep, dark, hidden secrets? Well, here’s a myth that we are going to BUST for you today! I am sure you hear the conflicting information about fluoride all. the. time. I Know I hear misleading information all the time, and I hang out at the dental office most of my day! So, how do we know what to believe? Is fluoride a pro, or a con?
I am here to give you my advice, backed up by scientific evidence, on the benefits of fluoride:
Fluoride is the number 1 cavity fighter. This means that nothing prevents tooth decay as well as fluoride does. It is a KEY component in a caries (cavities) risk management regimen for your child. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry strongly advises adding fluoride into your child’s routine as early as the age of 1. Studies show a significant reduction of dental decay in those who consistently use fluoride, and have started at an early age, than those who do not.
So, what is fluoride? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be released from rocks into the soil, water, and air. It is common that many communities add fluoride into their community water supply as a prevention method to combat tooth decay.
Where it gets tricky is ensuring that your child is getting the proper amount of fluoride. Anything in excess amounts can become harmful, and fluoride is no exception. We recommend using fluoride in your child’s toothpaste starting at the age of 1. At this age, they should be using about half the size of a grain of rice of fluoride toothpaste. This way, it ensures even if a little bit is swallowed, they are within the safe range.
We also recommend getting a topical fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth every 6 months. This helps re mineralize your children’s teeth, and acts as a preventive shield against the sugars and acids that are trying to demineralize them.
So, to bust this myth…fluoride is a beneficial mineral for the health of you and your teeth as long as it is used in the correct amount.
Phew! Glad we got to the bottom of that myth! And of course, feel free to ask your friendly dental hygienists or Dr. Wullbrandt on the benefits vs risk factors of fluoride use. They love to help!
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