Our expert dental team at Dental Dreams expressed concern over people’s doubts with regard to fluoride. “Patients often worry about becoming over fluoridated, when this is a really rare occurence,” suggests the team at DD.
The History of Fluoride
In the last few years, the average American has probably learned more about fluoridation than they ever thought possible. About 5 years ago, there was extensive concern about fluoridation in water. To be precise many people were fearful of over fluoridation, which can cause teeth staining. In the years following this “media fear” there has been a substantive amount of research and investigational work done with regards to fluoridation levels. Today we want to talk about fluoride contained in water but also in the beverages we often drink.
What is Fluoride?
The dental experts at Dental Dreams tell us that fluoride is a naturally occuring compound that comes from fluorine. This mineral is naturally occuring in rock formation, and most of it comes from the phosphorite rock. Even fluoride that we add to drinking water comes from this rock.
In the early 20th century medical research teams found that communities where drinking water contained naturally occurring fluoride, had stronger teeth. This is because fluoride makes tooth enamel harder. In and around the 1950’s when public health organizations decided that one of the best ways to get fluoride to the entire American population was to add it to drinking water. And the truth is that this manual water fluoridation has helped Americans keep their teeth stronger.
Current Levels of Fluoride in Water
The Dental Dreams team told us that the current levels of Fluoride in community drinking water supplies is about 1 part per million (1 ppm). This means there is approximately one milligram per quart of water, or maybe even less. Yes! there are naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in surface waters, but the amounts of fluoride in these waters is also very low so it does not seem to affect the American general population.
Changes in Fluoride Levels
Just last year, the U.S. government decided to recommend that the fluoride level be reduced to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. This is because the consumer now has other ways of getting fluoride, as in toothpastes, rinses and dental products. This new lower adjustment meets the requirements of the modern American population.
How Doe fluoridation work?
Fluoride works when it sticks to tooth enamel and making the tooth more resistant to acid attack from bacteria. Since implementing the use of fluoride in the mid 1950s, tooth decay has declined in all communities in the United States.
Today, we find that there is considerable controversy surrounding fluoridation. Pro-fluoridation supporters say that the process is “safe and effective” for reducing cavities, particularly in poor children. Water fluoridation is endorsed by most dental experts and associations in the USA and is considered one of the most important health implementations of the 20th century.
On the opposing side, people believe this type of health measure take away a person’s right of decision. They believe that the fluoride in drinking water, causes a loss of control, especially because outdoor workers and people with kidney problems — drink much more water than others, and could suffer from over-fluoridation. This opposition suggest that high levels of fluoride can cause several negative health effects that affect bones, brain and thyroid.
Is fluoride bad for you?
Dental Dreams tells us that it all depends who you ask; fluoride can be toxic when ingested in large amounts. Experts say that when levels are excessively high at 4 ppm or more, that this can cause severe dental fluorosis in children. However, the current level of 1 ppm is much lower than this excessive and risky 4 ppm level.
Fluoride in Sodas and Juices
Dental Dreams professionals have long advocated the limitation or total abstinence of soda and juice consumption. Their reasonings are simple, juices and soda contain added sugar, and this gives bad bacteria added foder to create acids that eat at tooth enamel. However, now we may have an added reason to avoid consuming highly sugared juice and soda. The reason is fluoridation. Juice and soda is made with drinking water that contains fluoride. Excessive drinking of these products adds more fluoride, and can lead to consumption well in excess of the recommended 1 ppm levels, especially for consumers that drink more than one serving a day.
The solution to the problem of over-fluoridation is to consume the recommended daily intake of water, use hygiene products that your dentist recommends and refrain from drinking excessive amounts of sugar laden products like juice and soda. This is simply a suggestion made by our associated team at Dental Dreams clinics.