February 1, 2017
These days, too many people turn to social media for health advice. Although you can find some accurate pieces of advice out there, you can also find plenty of misleading, bad, or dangerous ideas.
That’s why you need to call us today at 816-399-5539 and schedule a dental exam with our highly educated and experienced dentist. As a local expert in dentistry, Dr. Stiver can do more than just keep your teeth and gums healthy. He can help you wade through the myths and get the truth about fluoride use.
Fake News Affects Dentistry Too
You’ve probably heard about “fake news” by now. This is an internet phenomenon where people publish websites or social media posts to deliberately spread hoaxes and misinformation. Usually, people do this to make money. One man made $10,000 each month with fake news.
Sadly, fake news is affecting dentistry. There has been a rise in websites, Facebook memes, and similar posts spreading inaccurate news about one of the cornerstones of modern dentistry: fluoride. Thankfully, you can call our Kansas City, MO dental office and schedule an appointment with dentists who understand the truth.
Why Do Dentists Use Fluoride?
Simply put, fluoride makes your teeth stronger.
Your teeth are covered by enamel. You can lose some enamel — and weaken your teeth — mostly through two ways:
- Acidic foods (like vinegar or fruit juice) erode your enamel.
- Harmful bacteria secrete an acid that causes cavities in your enamel.
Fluoride is a natural mineral similar to calcium. Here’s how fluoride makes your teeth stronger.
- Fluoride helps enamel resist acid and the erosion it causes.
- Fluoride reverses early, small amounts of tooth decay.
- In children, fluoride helps build permanent teeth more resistant to acid and decay.
That’s why fluoride is so important to dentistry, and why many communities add fluoride to tap water. It helps strengthen and protect your teeth. It can even reverse damage!
Myths And Truths About Fluoride
Then why are so many fake news stories telling you that fluoride is bad? It’s probably due to two reasons.
First, fluoride can be overused. Fluorosis is when your teeth collect tiny flecks of white deep inside but still visible. These are harmless, but they can make your teeth look unusual.
Second, many of these fake news sites “warning” you about fluoride are also selling something. It’s the age-old scam; create a fake problem to sell you a fake solution.
To help navigate through all of this, here are some of the top fluoride myths.
MYTH: The ADA says fluoride is bad.
TRUTH: The ADA supports the use of fluoride.
Several websites claim the American Dental Association has come out against fluoride. This is absolutely false! The ADA currently recommends fluoride in drinking water, toothpastes, and dentist’s offices. That’s because the scientific evidence is very clear: Fluoride protects and strengthens teeth.
MYTH: Fluoride is unnatural.
TRUTH: Fluoride is a natural mineral and occurs in water naturally.
This is how dentists learned fluoride was good for teeth. Fluoride is found naturally in drinking water. People who drank water with more fluoride in it had fewer cavities. After researching the connection for many years, scientists proved the benefits of fluoride.
MYTH: Fluoride is used in rat poison.
TRUTH: A chemical that has fluoride in it.
Rat poison contains sodium fluoroacetate, also known as FCH2CO2Na. Toothpaste and drinking water use sodium fluoride, also known as NaF. As you can see, these are very different despite having the name “fluoride” in them. Besides, rat poison also has calcium in it. Does that mean your milk is poisonous?
MYTH: Fluoride causes lower IQ scores.
TRUTH: There is no connection between the two.
Some sites claim a link between taking fluoride and having a low IQ. It’s true that, if you took incredibly high doses of fluoride, you could have problems. But that’s true for almost anything, including water (overhydration) and even kale. The amount of fluoride used in US drinking water and toothpaste is much, much lower than that and is perfectly safe.
Call us TODAY at 816-399-5539 or use our convenient online form to get thorough dental exams. Dr. Stiver is highly trained and experienced in using fluoride. He knows how important this is to your teeth.