Conspiracy theories are nothing new. But today with the Internet, any nut job with fingers can type up some blather on a website they build.
The moon landing? On a soundstage in Hollywood. Two of the Seven Dwarfs as Siamese twins? Just check our Photoshopped photo!
And then there’s the old one — fluoride in the municipal water supplies is a Communist conspiracy to brainwash the American population.
This little item has been a mainstay of certain groups such as the John Birch Society ever since the benefits of fluoride for protecting teeth were first discovered. Unfortunately, rather than going away, with the passing of most of those former believers, the Internet has given the fluoride “debate” new life. Now the logic is that we’re all being “poisoned” by fluoride in our water, toothpaste, and the like.
Fortunately, saner minds continue to have the upper hand, including scientists and the American Dental Association. This is because fluoride is one of the best things a person can ingest to help strengthen their teeth. It also helps keep our bones strong. And it’s proven by over 60 years of science.
Since at Implant Dentistry of Florida we’re big fans of fluoride, here’s how it works its tooth-boosting magic.
What is it and how does fluoride protect your teeth?
Think of your teeth as if they were a mine, with minerals coming and going all day long. Demineralization and remineralization — those are the two processes where minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.
People who think we should take fluoride out of the water supply are missing one little other fact — fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. That’s right, you can find it in many foods and in natural water. Good luck signing a petition to remove fluoride from pickles, white wine, spinach, oysters, carrots, green and black teas, various fruit juices, Russet potatoes, asparagus, and even chicken.
It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids trying to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.
Just for kids?
It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride. But new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay, as well.
Fluoride treatments with the team at Implant Dentistry of Florida
Conspiracy theorists aside, fluoride is one of your teeth’s best friends. At Implant Dentistry of Florida we give our younger patients concentrated fluoride treatments, usually with fluoride gel in trays. But we can also provide fluoride for adults who have less-than-awesome enamel. Plus, seniors’ teeth need fluoride, especially to stem decay around long-placed cavities and such.