With an ever-growing awareness among the general populous regarding what products we consume and put in our bodies, the case for fluoride is a hot debate. While individuals who express apprehension towards fluoride as an additive in water would say it is unnecessary, most dentists would argue otherwise. Public health records have shown that mineralizing water supplies have reduced Medicaid costs by also reducing the need for dental procedures. This is due to the direct contact with teeth as trace amounts of fluoride is consumed. Even bigger benefits are reaped as a topical solution applied directly to teeth. This is a common practice in dental offices through use of dental trays and a solution of fluoride foam.
The primary difference in this debate is topical versus ingestion. Through ingestible sources the daily limit for fluoride is 3 milligrams in healthy adults. This is a trace amount found in food sources and water. In toothpaste, fluoride content can range from 1-3 milligrams. This limit is only cause for concern if all amounts of toothpaste are swallowed or ingested while brushing. In a normal everyday brushing routine, any remaining toothpaste in the mouth is rinsed or spit out. Ingestion is not likely or recommended, therefore fluoride toothpaste is considered to be safe.
Most occurrences of fluoride in foods is typically minimal in trace amounts of .01 milligrams per serving. Besides fluoridated sources of water, other popular sources of fluoride include yams, eggs, milk, red meat, and canned fish. Unless these types of foods are consumed in excess, the naturally occurring fluoride content in these foods is not harmful. Even if high concentrations of fluoride are consumed, fluorosis cases typically tend to be mild and include white spots on teeth. This condition does not cause pain or affect the health of your teeth. The only group at risk of developing fluorosis are Children as they are more prone to swallow toothpaste. Fluoride as a topical agent is safe and effective at protecting your teeth so don’t fear! Fluoride is here to stay.