Your bones and teeth contain fluoride, which comes from the mineral fluoride. It may also be found in the following places in nature: water, plants, soil, and rocks. It is popular in dental care to utilize fluoride as a tooth enamel strengthener. Fluoride aids in tooth preservation by reducing the incidence of cavities. It is found in many other nations' public water systems, albeit in far smaller quantities. Water fluoridation is the term used to describe this procedure.
Where does fluoride come from, and what purpose does it serve?
Most people associate fluoride with better oral health when discussing human health. Even though it's not always in the water supply or over-the-counter goods, you may come across it in the following sources: toothpaste, mouthwashes, and supplements. Using a prescription fluoride mouthwash may be recommended by your dentist if you have a history of dental problems like cavities. Fluoride concentrations in these rinses tend to be higher than in over-the-counter options.
Fluoride can also be found in the following products:
*in medical imaging scans, for example, PET scans
*as a disinfectant and cleaner
*as a component of pesticides
* to produce steel, Teflon, and aluminum
Fluoride helps with the following things:
*restore weakened teeth enamel by rebuilding (remineralizing)
*reduce the rate at which minerals are lost from dental enamel
*reverse tooth decay at the first indication of it.
*prevent oral bacteria from multiplying.
Bacteria in the mouth generate acids that chip away at your tooth enamel when sugar and carbohydrates are broken down. Demineralization refers to the process of losing minerals. When the enamel on your teeth is worn down, bacteria can enter your mouth and cause cavities. By aiding in tooth enamel remineralization, fluoride helps to protect against caries and can reverse early symptoms of dental decay. According to the CDC, between the 1960s and the 1990s, the number of 12-year-old children in the United States who had missing or decaying teeth decreased by 68 percent. This came when fluoridated water was introduced and expanded in communities, as well as fluoride being added to toothpaste and other dental goods.
What are some of the possible negative effects of fluoride exposure?
Even though fluoride is a natural substance, over-exposure to it may have negative consequences. The maximum quantity of fluoride that may be added to drinking water in the United States is 0.7 parts per million (ppm) as of 2015.
Overconsumption of fluoride during tooth development may cause dental fluorosis. This causes white patches on your teeth's surface. Dental fluorosis doesn't cause any symptoms or harm aside from the appearance of white spots. Only youngsters around the age of 8 with newly erupted permanent teeth are susceptible. Keeping an eye on your child while they brush their teeth can help reduce their risk of dental fluorosis by preventing them from swallowing significant portions of toothpaste.
In contrast to dental fluorosis, which affects teeth, skeletal fluorosis affects bones. In the beginning, you may have stiffness and discomfort in your joints. It has the potential to change bone structure and induce calcification of ligaments if left untreated for an extended period. Fluorosis is most often caused by drinking water with excessive fluoride levels over an extended period of time. Excessive fluoride in water may be caused by a variety of factors, including pollution from fire and explosion. Many regions of Asia and Africa have significant geologic fluoride concentrations that pose a threat to drinking water sources. Despite its rarity, skeletal fluorosis has been documented in the United States.
To what extent is it harmful to drink fluoridated water?
Hundreds of studies have examined the safety of fluoridation in drinking water, with results coming from researchers all around the globe. The only known adverse effect of the fluoride added to local water systems in the United States is a minor case of dental fluorosis. Some individuals, however, believe that drinking fluoridated water may lead to a number of health issues, including child retardation as measured by IQ, a malignancy of the bones, arthritis, and kidney disease.
Fluoride consumption may be reduced if you do one of the following:
*using bottled water as an alternative to municipal water
*filtering tap water with a fluoride filter
*using fluoride-free toothpaste
There are many ways to get the advantages of fluoride on your teeth if your city doesn't add it to the water supply, like using a fluoride toothpaste twice daily to keep your teeth clean, using a mouthwash with fluoride (not recommended for children under 6 years of age,) and having a professional fluoride treatment if recommended by your doctor.
Dental products often include fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral used to reinforce tooth enamel and avoid cavities. Many American towns also add it to their municipal water systems. Fluoride in drinking water is generally regarded as harmless, although excessive fluoride exposure has been related to a variety of health problems. Consult your local authorities if you're worried about the fluoride content of your tap water. If you have small children, consider using fluoride-free dental products.