There have been some recent articles in the news about water fluoridation and the benefits it may have on your teeth.
I thought it may be an idea to give you my view on this from what I have read and what I have experienced.
Fluoride is a mineral which can be found naturally. It can be found naturally in water in some parts of the world. It was found that those that lived in these fluoridated areas had less tooth decay. Further research has shown this same benefit.
Dental decay is primarily caused by the bacteria (found in plaque) in the mouth feeding on refined carbohydrates (e.g. in sugar) which in turn produce acid which in turn ‘dissolves’ a hole in the tooth.
Fluoride works by forming a substance called fluorapatite within the enamel structure. This increases the Ph at which the enamel will dissolve therefore making it harder for the acids (produced by bacteria) to form the cavity.
Essentially the use of fluoride is a preventative measure. Ideally we should be eliminating all sugars in our diet (at least reducing the frequency of sugary snacks to maximum 3 hits a day) and keeping the bacteria away in plaque by brushing and flossing our teeth effectively.
The idea behind adding fluoride to our water supply is to prevent the incidence of decay particularly in high need areas and particularly in children. Dental decay in children is the 3rd highest reason for General Anaesthetic admissions in the UK and for something that is totally preventable this figure is unacceptable.
There are anti fluoride groups in the UK. There are a number of arguments against fluoride. My understanding is the main issues are that fluoride is toxic, causes enamel mottling (white marks on the teeth) and possibly be associated with various cancers particularly thyroid cancers.
In my opinion I do feel fluoride is of benefit to most of us in the prevention of dental decay. However this is my opinion;
I am not sure about it being added to water. There needs to be more education, more dental health promotion, consider regular and frequent school screening, free oral hygiene at schools and at dental practice (which is funded appropriately) and free toothpaste, a better funded dental service and tackling the giants who feed us sugar. Finally extra fluoride should be given on a need basis.
So a simple way of presenting how I feel about fluoride is that I would happily give it to both my lovely sons Daniel (age 7) and Joseph (age 5) – do you need more of an argument!!
At Odiham Dental Care we focus on prevention of your dental problems. Prevention is better than cure. If you require any dental advice please contact us anytime.
We are a Dentist based on the Odiham High Street. The Odiham Post office is next door to us. We provide a full range of dental care to Odiham, North Warnborough, South Warnborogh, Greywell, and surrounding villages and towns.
Hope to see you soon,