Oatley Family Dental

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De-bunking Dental Myths

Fluoride : Tooth Saver or Public Enemy?

Fluoride use in Dentistry has been under fire for many years in the press, with many vilifying it as poison that is forced upon the public in a mass medication. 

It certainly makes for great headline…but is there any truth behind this?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound found in plants, rocks and at very low levels in almost all fresh water. It is used in many products related to oral health such as toothpastes and is also added to some of the drinking water in Australia. 

The best available evidence shows no adverse effects to the human body. 

Its introduction into dentistry through water fluoridation started in the 1940’s and during a 15 year project, it was proven to reduce the dental decay in the towns children by 60%.

Fluoride toothpaste has become the accepted norm and we like to describe fluoride toothpaste as using sunscreen for your teeth. It creates a harder, stronger, outer enamel layer than teeth without fluoride use. This helps to protect the tooth from the high acid and sugar western diet that is common, similar to using SPF 50 sunscreen in the harsh Australian sun.

In conclusion, as with all medicines, the dosage that we use is really the key. 

If we have a headache, taking two paracetamol tablets is perfectly safe, whereas taking a whole packet will poison the body and will lead to us being hospitalised.  

A small pea sized amount, and also using child dose friendly toothpastes are advised. After brushing your teeth, spitting, but not rinsing for 20-30 mins is also advised, just like refraining from swimming after putting on suncreen to ensure that the protection layer is not washed away.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at any time!