Along with the debate over mercury in dental amalgams, the fluoride debate has also kept dental professionals and patients hopping. The dental profession continues to espouse the importance of fluoride, and research and studies have shown that it can positively affect the dental health of those who use fluoride toothpastes and drink fluoridated water. Meanwhile, other studies have shown there to be risks associated with fluoride.
My goal with this article is provide both sides of the argument so you can decide for yourself. I’m not always one to take things at face value. I don’t believe everything the government or health officials tell me. I like to make up my own mind.
For those of who, until now, haven’t even known there was a debate, I hope this will help enlighten you. For those who have always wondered what the debate was all about, I hope to provide the answers to those questions. This article really isn’t intended to argue for or against any particular side and should not be considered an endorsement for either.
The Benefits of Fluoride
The average adult carries 2.6 grams (.09 oz/.0057 lbs) of fluoride in their body, 95 per cent of that in their bones and teeth. Fluoride’s main role in the body is to strengthen bone and prevent tooth decay. It is believed that using fluoride toothpastes and drinking fluoridated water strengthens the enamel of teeth by strengthening the mineral composition of teeth.
“The only clear effect of inadequate fluoride intake is an increased risk of dental caries (tooth decay) for individuals of all ages. Studies of patterns of water consumption and the prevalence of dental caries across different climates and geographic regions with different water fluoride concentrations in the United States led to the development of a recommended optimum range of fluoride concentration of 0.7-1.2 mg/liter or parts per million (ppm), with the lower concentration recommended for warmer climates where water consumption is higher, and the higher concentration for colder climates.