The impact of fluoride on oral health has been heavily researched for more than 60 years. Current research evidence supports that the use of fluoride as an ingredient in community water sources, toothpastes, mouth-rinses, and in-office varnish treatments can lower the occurrence of cavities in adults and children.
Drinking fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by 20-40%. Researchers have found that populations with non-fluoridated water tend to have higher rates of tooth decay than populations with fluoridated water.
Most bottled water brands do not contain fluoride; NURSERY® is a bottled water brand for children that contains fluoride. If your main water source is well water, you may want to have a water sample collected and tested by a laboratory to determine if it contains fluoride. Mention to your Charlotte dentist if you do not drink fluoridated water, so your dentist can discuss ways to lower your risk for cavities by incorporating other forms of fluoride in your oral health regimen.
IS FLUORIDE SAFE?
There exists controversy in our society regarding the safety of fluoride. However, the scientific literature investigated and approved by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics support that fluoride is both effective and safe.
WHAT ELSE CAN FLUORIDE DO?
Fluoride treatments and toothpastes can also reduce mild tooth sensitivity.
It can also help to remineralize cavities that are starting to form in the enamel (outer layer of teeth) before the cavity progresses to the dentin (middle layer) when a filling would be required.
At Leary Family Dentistry, we recommend daily use of fluoridated toothpaste and a fluoride rinse, such as ACT® or Listerine Total Care Zero ®. We also recommend having a fluoride varnish treatment at dental cleaning appointments at least once a year for adults and twice a year for children. Your Charlotte dentist may make additional recommendations for you if you have multiple crowns/fillings or are at higher risk for cavities.
The American Dental Association stands by the safety and efficacy of fluoride in reducing tooth decay. Learn more about fluoride on the ADA website http://www.ada.org/goto/fluoride