Fluoride

For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, which thereby helps to prevent decay of tooth structures.

Fluoride in Madison Heights

Water fluoridation is endorsed by nearly every major health and safety-related organization in the world. Communities make it a common practice to "fluoridate" their drinking supplies in order for the general population to benefit from this inexpensive and effective preventative treatment. According to the American Dental Association, more than 144 million U.S. residents in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated water, most from public water supplies with sodium fluoride added artificially.

Bottled water, home water treatment systems, and fluoride exposure

Can the consistent use of bottled water result in individuals missing the benefits of optimally fluoridated water? Can home water treatment systems (e.g., water filters) affect optimally fluoridated water supplies? The answer is yes to both. Read how you can avoid some of the pitfalls that may be preventing you from getting the maximum value of fluoride, in this article from the American Dental Association.

ADA statement on FDA toothpaste warning labels

The American Dental Association`s Council on Scientific Affairs believes that one part of the warning now required on fluoride toothpastes by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could unnecessarily frighten parents and children, and that the label greatly overstates any demonstrated or potential danger posed by fluoride toothpastes. The label language, "If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately," is now required on all fluoride toothpastes. But the ADA, in a letter sent to the FDA last year, pointed out that a child could not absorb enough fluoride from toothpaste to cause a serious problem and that the excellent safety record on fluoride toothpaste argues against any unnecessary regulation.

Enamel fluorosis

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child may face a condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she receives too much fluoride during the years of tooth development. Too much fluoride can result in defects in tooth enamel.

CDC web site provides information on community water fluoridation

People seeking information on whether their water system is fluoridated can now find out by visiting a new Web site at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new feature, "My Water`s Fluoride," allows consumers in participating states to check out basic information about their water system, including the number of people served by the system and the target fluoridation level.

Optimal levels recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC for drinking water range from 0.7 parts per million (ppm) for warmer climates, to 1.2 ppm for cooler climates accounting for the tendency to drink more water in warmer climates. States that are currently participating include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fluoride is known as an effective way to fight off cavities for your teeth and is provided naturally through different types of water sources. It’s also known to be in some of the foods and beverages we consume.

To further help protect teeth from cavities, fluoride is added to many different dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Ask us about what types of products have fluoride at your next visit.

Fluoride benefits both children and adults in many ways Here’s how:

  • It strengthens tooth enamel, making it easier to resist tooth decay
  • It helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay
  • When taken from foods and beverages, fluoride continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva. This means it’s continuously rebuilding tooth enamel all day long

Toothpaste is designed to help remove plaque, which forms on teeth and gums each day from bacteria and food particles. Fluoride toothpaste offers an added benefit in helping prevent tooth decay as it works to strengthen tooth enamel.

If your tooth enamel has weakened due to smoking, bad oral hygiene, or sodas and fruit juices you drink, be sure to buy fluoride dental products to help rebuild its durability.

Fluoridated water is beneficial for both children and adults as it helps prevent tooth decay. By drinking water, people can benefit from fluoridation's cavity protection no matter where they are or what time of day it is.

The CDC has also declared community water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

How Do I Get Fluoride?

Just drinking public water will provide a certain measure of fluoride protection. But for years, health professionals have endorsed the practice of supplementing our intake with certain dietary products, topical fluorides in many toothpastes, and some kinds of rinses. Certain beverages such as tea and soda may also contain fluoride. Certain kinds of dental varnishes and gels may also be applied directly to teeth to boost fluoride intake.

Fluoride Safety

It is generally NOT safe to swallow toothpaste, rinses, or other products containing topical fluoride. In rare cases, some people may be overexposed to high concentrations of fluoride, resulting in a relatively harmless condition called fluorosis, which leaves dark enamel stains on teeth.

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