What Are The Fluoride Benefits And Side Effects?

What Are The Fluoride Benefits And Side Effects?

Mar 01, 2023

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride occurs naturally in water, soil, and air. It’s also added to toothpaste and mouthwash for its ability to prevent cavities by strengthening teeth against decay. In addition to drinking fluoridated water, you can get fluoride from other sources, like professional fluoride treatment at a dentist near you.

What are the Benefits of Fluoride?

But what exactly are the benefits of fluoride for teeth, and why should you use it?

    • Protects the enamel

Fluoride can help to protect the enamel, or outer layer of the teeth, from cavities and decay. It helps to remineralize the enamel and make it stronger. This makes it harder to develop cavities and decay.

    • Prevents tooth decay

Tooth decay is a common problem that affects millions of people globally. Various factors can cause it, but one of the most common causes is the excess consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks. Excess consumption of these substances can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel, which in turn can cause cavities and other dental problems.

Fluoride binds the minerals in the tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria. Fluoride also helps to remineralize the teeth, meaning it can help to repair small areas of damage that have already occurred.

    • Puts minerals back into the teeth

Every day the teeth lose minerals like calcium and phosphate that strengthen the teeth. When the minerals are lost, it weakens the teeth and causes them to develop cavities and decay. Fluoride is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth. It helps to prevent tooth decay by putting these minerals back into the teeth.

    • It provides a natural preservative.

Fluoride provides a natural preservative for teeth, making them more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also help to reduce the pain associated with sensitive teeth. It does this by blocking the pathways that lead to the nerves in the teeth. This action helps to desensitize the nerves and reduce the pain felt when exposed to hot or cold temperatures.

What are the Side Effects of Fluoride?

While fluoride is essential for the teeth, it can cause several side effects when taken in excess, and they include:

    • Tooth discoloration

The discoloration comes from the chemical bonds between fluorine atoms and other elements in your mouth, like calcium and phosphate ions. When these bonds break down, they leave behind a brownish color called “fluorosis,” which you may notice on some surfaces in your mouth after brushing with fluoridated toothpaste (like white stains on enamel).

    • Skeletal weakness

Fluoride may also cause skeletal weakness, leading to bones that are brittle and more likely to break. Osteosclerosis is when the bone becomes thickened due to increased calcium deposits on its surface. It’s usually caused by prolonged exposure to fluoride compounds found in drinking water or toothpaste containing fluorine compounds. In addition, some studies have shown that fluoride can increase the risk of osteosclerosis by increasing the amount of acid-forming substances in your body.

    • Neurological problems

Fluoride is an added chemical to the water supply. While this may seem harmless, it can harm your body in many ways. One of these ways involves neurological problems like brain damage and mental retardation.

Fluoride has been linked with decreased IQ scores among children who live in areas with high levels of fluoride intake (such as fluoridated toothpaste).

How is the Fluoride Treatment Done?

Fluoride treatments are quick and easy. Here’s what you can expect when getting a fluoride treatment at the dental office:

  1. The dentist in Holmdel, NJ, will first apply a topical fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to your teeth with a small brush.
  2. You will wait for it to be absorbed into your teeth. This usually takes a few minutes.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes before eating

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Dipika T. Shah, DDS, LLC, for more information about fluoride treatment and its benefits.

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