We’ve all heard the rumors about fluoride.
There have been several reports of fluoride having negative effects circulating online. We understand your concerns, and we’re here to put your mind at ease.
In this article, we’ll give you the facts, laying out exactly why these reports are false. We’ll explain why fluoride is safe, even in high levels, and why for some, it’s absolutely essential.
Read on to find out the truth about fluoride, and when you should consider using a high fluoride toothpaste.
The Safety of Fluoride
Fluoride in Toothpaste
Fluoride is completely safe to use in toothpaste, even for babies. In fact, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends starting to use it as early as possible.
The American Dental Association also says that fluoride is essential for ensuring that tooth enamel is strengthened from an early age. Toothpaste for children under the age of three contains a reduced amount of fluoride in order to eliminate the risk of fluorosis.
Fluoride in Water
Water in the U.S. is regulated for fluoride content. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for monitoring it and produces regular reports to ensure safety measures are met.
For years, conspiracy theories over water fluoridation have circulated. However, they fail to mention that the average fluoride content of seawater is much higher than that of public water sources in the U.S. There is no evidence to support claims that high fluoride water is toxic to people, plants, or animals.
When You Need a High Fluoride Toothpaste
You Wear Dentures
When dentures are worn, they often cover cavity-prone teeth, or roots of teeth that are still remaining. This increases their risk of decay.
That’s why for denture wearers, using toothpaste with a higher fluoride level is often recommended by dentists. It negates the risk posed by the dentures, so you don’t have to compromise your oral health.
While high fluoride toothpaste should be used by those who wear dentures, it should never be used to clean dentures themselves. This is because it can result in damage, causing the material to break down. For denture care, specialized cleaning products are available.
You Have Dry Mouth
Patients who suffer from dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can benefit from high fluoride toothpaste. The condition is often a symptom of more serious medical problems and sometimes occurs as a side effect of medication or radiotherapy treatment.
When the mouth is dry, there isn’t enough saliva to wash away food, bacteria, and acids from the teeth and gums. This puts the teeth at higher risk of decay. A toothpaste that contains more fluoride will help to reduce this risk.
You Have Braces
People who are undergoing orthodontic treatment may have to use a high fluoride toothpaste.
This is because fixed braces can make it more difficult to clean the teeth properly. After several months of treatment, plaque can build up, causing cavities to occur. High fluoride toothpaste helps to combat this problem and keep the teeth healthy while the braces are being worn.
The same goes for plastic aligners, like Invisalign. If a patient doesn’t follow the proper instructions for wear, the same problem can arise. Patients are required to remove the aligners when eating and drinking anything other than water, then brush before putting them back in. If not, the aligners can lock bacteria in.
You Have Lots of Cavities
If you suffer from lots of cavities, your dentist will have to use more than fillings to improve the condition of your teeth.
In severe cases, they’re likely to recommend a treatment plan that includes switching to a toothpaste that contains more fluoride than your usual brand.
The same goes for patients who suffer from gingivitis or periodontal disease.
You Have Root Caries
Root caries are lesions or holes that appear below the gumline, or at the root of a tooth. These are most commonly seen in older patients as gums begin to recede with age. However, without the proper oral care, they can be found in patients of all ages.
A 2014 study compared the effects of high fluoride toothpaste in comparison to regular toothpaste in patients with this problem. The results showed that using toothpaste with a higher fluoride concentration twice a day significantly improved the surface hardness of teeth.
You Have Crowns
While crowns are a great solution for restoring teeth, they can hide other problems.
Crowns don’t provide an invincible layer of protection. Plaque can still accumulate at the intersection where to tooth and the crown meet, which can lead to further problems.
A regular routine of brushing and flossing should prevent this from occurring, but failing that, a toothpaste with a fluoride level of 5000 ppm should be used.
You Have Sensitive Teeth
If sensitive teeth are causing you discomfort, it’s worth switching to a high fluoride toothpaste.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by various problems, including worn enamel, brushing too hard, and tooth decay caused by acidic foods. Fluoride helps to manage the effects.
Studies show that fluoride can reduce tooth hypersensitivity and prevent the problem from worsening in the future. Many dentists prescribe a course of fluoride treatment to manage sensitive teeth, but you can take matters into your own hands by simply changing the toothpaste you use.
Improve Your Oral Health
While high fluoride toothpaste is completely safe, it’s only required for patients with specific dental concerns. If you’re looking to simply brush up on your oral hygiene, there are other things you can do.
The first is to schedule regular check-up appointments with your dentist. If you’re anxious about dental treatment, don’t worry. Dr. Doug Lewis is known for his ability to put patients at ease during his treatments.
To find out more about why we have so many happy patients, see what they have to say in our customer reviews.