Fluoride has been a contentious issue for many decades now and leaves patients concerned and confused about the role fluoride should or shouldn’t play in their own dental care, as well as their children’s. What makes the question of fluoride even more confusing is the role each municipality plays in the addition of it to their local water supply. If asked, many would likely not even know if fluoride is being added to their water supply or not.
Here’s what we know (the good, the bad, the scientific):
- Fluoride was used because it was proven to reduce cavities by as much as 50%.
- Fluoride is a mineral that binds to the enamel of teeth, strengthening them to prevent bacterial decay.
- According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, almost two-thirds of Canadians no longer have fluoride added to their municipal water. In British Columbia, Yukon, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador for instance, less than three per cent of the population has fluoride added to their municipal water.
- Too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis.
- Fluoride has been linked to a reduction in bone density, especially in women.
- There has been a rise in cavities since the reduction of fluoride in Canadian municipal water.
- It is listed in the Merck Manual and in any toxicology reference textbook as a lethal poison.
As a holistic family dental practice, it is our belief that the levels of fluoride being ingested by our patients is simply too high and ultimately doing more harm than good. High levels of it are leading to more cases of dental fluorosis, which causes a weakening of enamel; dis-colouration of teeth including yellowing or white lines and spot; and in some extreme cases, decay and/or physical damage.
Research also shows a direct link between fluoride and decreased levels of bone density, especially in women, leading to increased cases of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Our bones are largely composed of calcium compounds, up to 50 per cent of which are hydroxyapatite. When we take in too much fluoride, we see a shift in our biomechanical properties, changing our bones’ crystalline structure and causing a reduction in our bones’ mechanical strength properties.
This is the education that all patients need to make informed and responsible decisions. With the negatives far outweighing the benefits, it is up to dental professionals to educate patients on the alternatives to fluoride-based products. It is possible to maintain a healthy mouth without using known toxins.
Look toward natural toothpastes that do not contain fluoride, or at the very least, avoid using too much of it in toothpaste with each brush. Ignore the large swipes of toothpaste you see in the commercials, you really only need a pea-sized amount on your brush. Avoid giving kids under 6 adult toothpaste altogether, even older if they tend to swallow the paste as they brush. Ingesting fluoride is dangerous to our health.
If your water does have fluoride, consider drinking and brushing with distilled water instead. Plus, talk with your family dentist about reducing the overall acidity of your mouth. Bacteria thrives in acidic environments and it feeds on sugar… even natural sugars, so cutting back will help create a healthy mouth environment, keeping cavity-producing bacteria at bay.
If you would like to learn more about our approach to family holistic dentistry and/or cosmetic dentistry in Oakville, or have a question about your specific situation, get in touch with Oakville Dentist, Dr. Agatha Bis and her team by calling 905.338.6684 or by completing the form below.