Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, has long been a topic of discussion and debate. While some individuals express concerns about its safety and potential toxicity, scientific research and dental professionals such as; dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants support the benefits of fluoride in promoting oral health and optimal dental hygiene. In this blog, we will delve into the benefits of fluoride and explore the evidence that dispels common misconceptions about its alleged toxicity.
Fluoride plays a vital role in preventing tooth decay and promoting overall dental health. When fluoride is present in the mouth, it interacts with the enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and sugars. Regular exposure to fluoride through drinking water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, or professional treatments can help strengthen teeth. It reduce cavities, and even reverse early-stage tooth decay. It is important to use a daily fluoride toothpaste and get your fluoride application at your dental hygiene appointment.
One of the most effective and widespread public health measures is community water fluoridation. Numerous studies have demonstrated the significant benefits of adding fluoride to the water supply, which is carefully regulated to maintain optimal levels (around 0.7 parts per million).This system has been hailed as a major public health achievement reducing tooth decay rates by 25% or more in both children and adults.
There is no water fluoridation in Greater Vancouver, which is why it is important to use fluoridated products at home and to have a professional strength fluoride application during your dental hygiene appointment.
Decades of scientific research have consistently affirmed the safety and efficacy of fluoride. The overwhelming consensus among dental and medical organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Dental Association (ADA) is that fluoride, when used appropriately, is not toxic and provides substantial oral health benefits. These organizations base their conclusions on extensive scientific studies, peer-reviewed research, and rigorous analysis of fluoridation programs worldwide.
Dental Hygienists’ are at the forefront of advocating for the use of fluoride to prevent dental caries. Their recommendations are rooted in years of education, clinical experience, and scientific evidence. Dental hygienists will often apply fluoride varnish during your dental hygiene appointment to provide an additional protective layer for teeth. This practice has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing decay, particularly in children and individuals at higher risk.
The evidence supports the use of fluoride in promoting oral health and preventing tooth decay. Scientific research, dental professionals, and reputable organizations strongly advocate for the benefits of fluoride. While concerns about toxicity exist, they are largely based on misinformation and misinterpretation of studies. It is crucial to rely on reliable scientific evidence and expert recommendations to make informed decisions about oral health.
The appropriate use of fluoride, whether through community water fluoridation, toothpaste, or professional treatments, remains an essential tool in the fight against dental caries and promoting overall oral health.
Dental Hygiene Recommendations for Fluoridated Products
Sensodyne or Pronamel – for a regular strength fluoride toothpaste
Clinpro– a high fluoride toothpaste recommended for people who are at higher risk of cavities
OPTI- Rinse- a fluoridated mouth rinse
MI Paste Plus– a calcium and fluoride lotion for the teeth
Emma Johnson is the owner of Pearl Boutique, a clinic that specializes in teeth whitening. She is a registered dental hygienist and completed her diploma at Camosun College, which offers one of the best recognized dental hygiene programs in Canada. Emma also holds a health science degree in kinesiology from the University of the Fraser Valley.