Even though the internet makes so much information available to us, there’s a downside: fake news. There is a lot of myths, falsehoods, and outright lies online. It can be hard to separate the myths from the truths.
That’s very true for fluoride. Even though it’s been studied and found to be healthy over and over again, there’s a lot of fake news out there saying fluoride is unhealthy, unnatural, or worse. But without fluoride, your teeth can grow weaker and be more likely to get a cavity.
Call our Kennewick, WA dental office today at 509-591-0515 to schedule your next appointment. As a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Hadley s your Kennewick dentist who has seen the research and facts about fluoride.
The Fake News About Fluoride
Sometimes, you know fake news when you see it. That story saying the president is secretly working with aliens in the White House? That’s easy to ignore. But that gets harder when a story or article starts quoting studies or research — even when they take the study out of context or make up the numbers.
If fluoride is fine, why is there fake news telling people it’s not? For the most part, there are two reasons.
- Science isn’t always easy to understand. That’s why dentists have to go to school for many years before becoming a doctor. For someone writing a blog article on some website, it’s easy to misunderstand the chemistry and biology behind fluoride.
- Sometimes, the websites warning you about the “dangers” of fluoride also happen to be selling something, like an ebook or a subscription to a newsletter. In other words, they’re using fear to make money.
Why Fluoride Is Great For Your Smile
Fluoride can be found in drinking water, toothpaste, and treatments at the dentist’s office. Why? Because it helps your teeth. Many studies have shown that:
- Fluoride strengthens your enamel. That means your teeth are more resistant to damage (chips, cracks, etc.) and tooth decay.
- Fluoride reverses microscopic damage.
- With children, fluoride can even strengthen adult teeth that haven’t fully replaced their baby teeth yet.
That’s why the American Dental Association recommends fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water. It helps your teeth stay strong and healthy.
Separating Fluoride Myths & Truths
Here are some of the more stubborn myths and the truth about it.
MYTH: Fluoride is poisonous.
TRUTH: Fluoride is only a problem when you take way too much.
The problem here is that there are many versions of fluoride. Think of table salt. That’s made up of sodium and chlorine. But you would never take the stuff you put in pools and pour it over your dinner. A small change to the chemical makes a big difference.
That’s true for fluoride as well. One version of fluoride is used in rat poison, so some people think all versions of fluoride are bad. That’s just not true. The versions used in toothpaste and water have been repeatedly shown to be safe.
MYTH: Fluoride lowers your intelligence.
TRUTH: Again, only if you take an incredibly large amount at once.
Back in 2014, a study seemed to link using fluoride to having a lower IQ. However, there is a big reason why that study is flawed — the amount.
Most Americans get about 0.7 milligrams of fluoride each day from water and toothpaste. That study is based on people in China who took in up to 8.0 milligrams of fluoride each day. That’s over 10 times as much! Imagine taking 10 times as much potassium, calcium, or even water. Of course you’d have a problem.
MYTH: Fluoride is a man-made chemical that shouldn’t be in water.
TRUTH: Fluoride is a natural mineral found in well water.
This is completely false. Fluoride is a mineral made by nature and not people. Plus, fluoride is found naturally in people’s drinking water. In fact, that’s how people learned that fluoride made teeth stronger. A long time ago, scientists discovered that people who drank well water with fluoride naturally in it had healthier teeth.
Call us today at 509-591-0515 ot contact us through our convenient online form to schedule your next appointment. Our Kennewick dentist fully understands how fluoride needs to be used to keep you safe and protect your smile.