Is fluoride safe?

Is fluoride safe?

Anytime a child has their teeth cleaned in our office; the question is always asked, “Is it OK if we apply fluoride to your child’s teeth?” I notice there are many times the parent hesitates to have the fluoride treatment for their children’s teeth.

Parents concern: is fluoride safe?

Through the years I think I have heard many of the theories against Fluoride. “It’s all about money; the dental industry is ripping off the general public.” As a dentist on this side of the fence, trust me, nobody in the dental industry is getting rich off of fluoride.
Or how about this one? “Fluoride causes cancer.” This one is hard to argue with. From what I understand a lot of quality research has been conducted asking this question. The majority of the results imply that fluoride is safe. There are some studies with rats that imply otherwise. There is considerable debate whether or not these rat studies apply to humans. Are there risks with fluoride? I think they are minuscule. Are there risks getting out of bed? The risks are minimal, and I think the benefits of fluoride far outweigh the risks.
Of all the theories I’ve heard, this one is my favorite, “It was one ingredient from the atomic bomb.” You can’t help but chuckle. By the way, that last quote is a text I received from a friend, word for word. You can almost see the swastika banner flying in the background. How do you answer these comments and concerns?

Why do dentists love fluoride?

For discussion’s sake, let’s look at some photos: One of our kids came through the office recently, and although she is not my child, we do think of her as one of our own. Many would consider her a young woman in her early 20’s, but since she has been coming to our office for years, though she is an adult in every sense of the word, she will always be one of our kids.

Press on any photo to enlarge.

Her teeth are beautiful. They had, in my opinion, that perfect frosty white appearance, which implies the perfect amount of fluoride through the years. Not only are they beautiful, but because of the fluoride that was present while the teeth were developed, the teeth are harder. Harder teeth don’t get holes. The harder the tooth, fewer holes, fewer fillings.

Fluoride makes the tooth harder.

Not only did she get fluoride at the dental office, she probably had it in her toothpaste. I’m just speculating, but I do know that she was raised on well water. Is there fluoride in Maine’s artesian wells? It can vary, but I think so. Again I’m speculating, but for discussion’s sake, when mom prepared meals such as soup, she made the soup with fluoridated water. The child ingests the fluoride, and the fluoride percolated through her blood stream, making the developing tooth harder.
Because of fluoride from the dental office, toothpaste and drinking water. This young lady will have beautiful healthy teeth for years to come.
We at Seasons of Smiles Dental love all our kids, and we will strive for them to have hard, healthy, beautiful teeth. If you have any questions or concerns, please call at (207) 236-4740.


  1. nyscof

    Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing
    Over 4,600 professionals (including 365 dentists and 566 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped because science shows fluoridation is ineffective and harmful. See statement:
    Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It’s really obsolete.”

    January 16, 2014 at 5:36 am Reply
    1. Hello nyscof, I respectfully disagree. Thank you for stopping by and voicing your opinion.

      January 16, 2014 at 6:45 am Reply
  2. Jack Fortune

    fluoride and mercury….hmmmmm….sounds like the dark ages to me…and its my understanding that dental fluoride is a primarily a byproduct of the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers from China…does this sound “safe” to you?
    The most obvious health effect of excess fluoride exposure is dental fluorosis, which when mild includes white streaks, and when severe can include brown stains, pits and broken enamel. As of 2010, 41 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 had some form of dental fluorosis, according to the CDC.

    January 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm Reply
    1. Hello Jack Fortune,
      Have you ever heard debates between pro-choice and pro-life? Debates that never seem to convince those who have already made up their minds? Some of those debates can get downright mean.
      I fear it’s the same between the pro-fluoride and the anti-fluoride groups.
      Just for discussions sake, did you see the pictures posted? I would like to think that this young lady has a good chance of having healthy teeth, that in her lifetime she will never have to get a root canal, a mercury filling, and there is a good chance she will never ever need to have a tooth removed. Are there risks with fluoride? I think the rewards far out weigh the risks.
      By the way I did a search on what the CDC says about fluoride.

      For 65 years, community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay. CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

      Taken from
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      January 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm Reply
  3. Jack Fortune

    Thank you for posting my comment. Applying the scientific method, have you considered that the example you posit as validating fluoride may in fact be totally unrelated and scientifically unreliable? There are many factors to dental health and tooth condition, including genetic. For example, many decades ago in the last century, I met a young man who had perfect teeth, brilliant white, no caries or fillings. He explained to me that when he was a child he found a natural tar pit in the woods. He would chew on a piece of the natural tar, much as the early pioneers would chew on spruce gum. It tasted good to him, and he continued the practice until his family moved from that area. When he went for his first dental checkup later in his early teens (before dental fluoridation), his dentist was intrigued and made inquiries of my young friend. When the dentist learned of the tar chewing, he researched the practice of tar chewing and told the young man that this had been a well known source of good dental health before the inception of “dental science”. I refer to this anecdotal account to demonstrate that good tooth condition and dental health may have little or nothing to do with ingestion or application of fluoride.

    January 20, 2014 at 6:48 am Reply
    1. Hello Jack,
      I agree, my photos don’t prove anything. I think I can also agree that it is possible to keep teeth healthy without Fluoride.
      I do believe tooth decay is a multifactorial problem. How many different contributing factors can you come up with that will put holes in your teeth? Trust me, there are a lot.
      An that’s why I still think Fluoride is wonderful. There are so many people that are now able to go through life with significantly less dental problems.
      I just love civil war history, looking at all the photos, have you ever noticed how no one is ever smiling? I think I know the reason. Many of them were embarrassed, because of missing front teeth. The good old days may not have been that good. Life is so much better with Fluoride.
      I think for those of us who work day in and day out helping fight tooth decay, Fluoride has been a godsend.
      I hate to keep re-quoting the CDC, I think they sum it up nicely though, how a majority of us dentists feel.
      CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
      Thanks again for stopping by.

      January 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm Reply
  4. […] The mother than asked what could she do differently to prevent these holes.  We discussed sugary, junk foods, we discussed snacking in-between meals.  We discussed brushing, flossing and fluoride.  I went on to inform her why we were big fans of fluoride. […]

    March 9, 2015 at 9:03 am Reply
  5. JJ

    I am sorry but flouride is a bi-product of hazardous waste. Its a carcinogen, PERIOD!

    September 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing Norman
    The very fisrt comment on this post was: “I am sorry but flouride is a bi-product of hazardous waste. Its a carcinogen, PERIOD!”
    Well, I disagree with that, why? because when talking about these subjects, everyone has to talk from the scientific evidence point of view
    We, you, other colleagues and me, are saying that fluoride is safe because the scientific evidence says so,
    It is not a matter of liking, wanting, or imposing
    Greetings from Caracas

    November 22, 2018 at 12:11 pm Reply

Write a Comment

Recent posts