A question that we receive at Museum Smiles, that is an important topic is fluoride and the possible effects that it can have on patients, particularly children. As a mother of a young child, I can understand the concern. There is plenty of research on the matter. Depending on how you lean on this subject, you can find just about any article on the matter.
Most people’s concern stems from different theories that we hear about tap water. And with the recent events in Flint and their water crisis due to poor water treatment filtration, it is easy to subconsciously conflate these stories that we have heard about fluoride and our tap water.
A concerned mother once expressed her concern with fluoride and its effect on children's IQs and cognitive development. At Museum Smiles, we tread carefully with this matter. Too much of anything can have effects on any person's physical or mental growth. The amounts of what a person intakes of different products is a factor in the resulting outcome. This doesn’t go for fluoride alone. A high intake of foods with long shelf-lives and chemically enhanced preservatives can affect you physically. Even biologically. Drinking too much milk can alter the pH balance of your stomach causing sometimes painful issues. Each day, we receive certain amounts of radiation from our phones, TVs and other electronic devices. But in moderation these things help in our functionality to a degree. Milk helps grow young children into strong adults with its calcium. Preservatives allow foods to be shipped far and wide. There is nothing like licking at your favorite ice cream on a hot Summer day. Or getting that specific ingredient to recreate your grandmothers recipe. And a lot of us work on our phones. They are now more than just a mechanism to speak to friends. They are a portal to the rest of the world. A content generator. And most importantly, it’s a flashlight! Just kidding.
Fluoride is like this. No one should digest a big helping of fluoride for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fluoride, in moderation, is a very important tool in the dental health of patients. It is a strong deterrent from tooth decay; can be used to strengthen enamel or at least mute the early signs of tooth decay. The American Dental Association supports its use. A simple application of fluoride varnish that is applied at 3, 6, or 12 month intervals, is well within recommended limits. And it is in a therapeutic range to reap the preventive benefits.
Just like toothpaste and mouthwash, fluoride is already designated to a moderate role. Read its labels and instructions and use as recommended by a dental professional.
And if you still have concerns about it’s use, that is okay too. Talk to us at Musuem Smiles Dentistry about alternatives and preventive care that has been researched and proven. We proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller, and Fort Worth Areas.