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.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.