Are Dental Fluoride Supplements Safe for My Family?

December 7, 2010

I’m Dr. Brad Greenfield, a holistic dentist in Lake Orion. I want to share with you my thoughts on fluoride and how it relates to dentistry and health. Recently, there’s been more hype about the dangers of fluoride than we’ve heard since the 1960s. So here are the facts.

  • Tooth decay is the most widespread disease in children and a significant problem for adults
  • Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that attracts other minerals to strengthen teeth against decay
  • The US movement to fluoridate public water supply in 1962 was followed by a significant reduction in cavities in the general public
  • The US spends just under $1 per person, annually, to fluoridate public water
  • Studies show that fluoride decreases cavities by 18-50%
  • Not all geographic areas need fluoridation in the public water supply; remember, the mineral is naturally occurring
  • The amount of fluoride in public water is closely monitored by the government
  • In the 1970s, the introduction of fluoride in toothpaste was followed by a significant reduction in cavities in the general population
  • Most bottled water contains little or no fluoride
  • Home water filtration systems usually do not remove fluoride from tap water; commercial reverse osmosis water filtration systems that remove up to 95% of fluoride
  • Some people have a sensitivity to fluoride
  • Children who swallow too much fluoridated toothpaste can develop white, horizontal lines on teeth, called fluorosis (so use children’s toothpaste that does not contain fluoride until your child is old enough to not swallow it)
  • Toxic levels of fluoride can cause sickness, brittle bones, and may cause negative mental effects
  • Toxic levels of fluoride are said to have been used in WWII by Nazis to make prisoners more compliant
  • In the 1950s, there was a public outcry based on the thought that fluoridating public water was a communist plot

Now, that said, fluoride in safe doses can be beneficial to dental health. At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, we recommend fluoride rinse or varnish to reduce the potential for dental caries (tooth decay).  We also offer dental sealants for children, which are reported to reduce cavity formation by up to 60%. Our goal is that your family avoids dental problems. If you’re concerned about fluoride or any other dental material or procedure, please feel free to discuss your concerns during your appointment. I’m always happy to answer questions, provide facts, and my team and I will respect your decisions.

Call today to schedule your checkup, cleaning, or consultation with me. And remember, your dental benefits will probably expire at the end of the year. New patients are always welcome at Lake Orion Family Dentistry. We look forward to making you smile!

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