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Fluoride: Myths and Facts

Fluoride: Myths and Facts

What Is Fluoride?

Many of us think of fluoride as toothpaste, tap water and something related to the dentist. Fluoride is actually a natural mineral that is found in the earth’s crust and that nature itself uses in many of its elements and life forms.

Dental Fluorosis

Why Do We Need Fluoride?

Fluoride is essential in preventing tooth decay and cavities. It works to harden the enamel and other minerals on growing and existing teeth, making them less susceptible to decay and disease. This means fewer trips to the dentist and fewer fillings and extractions. Thus dentists in Delhi are counselling patients regularly on the importance of fluoride.

When we eat and drink, some food debris remains in the mouth (if we are not rinsing our mouth well after eating or don’t brush regularly at night, the  bacteria in our mouth reacts with the food and produces acid; this  breaks down the hard parts of our teeth, which means they ultimately become victims of decay.

Fluoride plays a fundamental role in preventing this from happening. It helps in stopping the acid in our mouth from harming our teeth in the long run. The fluoride reacts with the hydroxyapatite in the tooth structure to form fluorapatite, which is more resistant to the bacteria and acid; thus prevents the development of cavities.

Fluoride is also very important for children, who need this vital mineral to ensure their teeth are strong and healthy before they actually emerge above the gum line. In the best dental clinics in Delhi and elsewhere, peventive medicine is being practised actively. The reputed dentists in Delhi are doing fluoride application for kids regularly.

How Do We Get Fluoride?

On an everyday basis, we generally receive fluoride in two forms:


Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride; if not, consider switching to a fluoride toothpaste, especially if you have children. If you are unsure, simply check the label, as this should tell you how much fluoride the toothpaste contains.


Tap Water

Since fluoride is a natural mineral, it is often left in our water; this means when we drink tap water, our teeth benefit from fluoride! A recent study showed that fluoridated water is beneficial to the dental health of all human beings.

You can check whether your tap water is fluoridated by contacting your local water supplier.


Fluoride at Dental Check-ups

Although getting fluoride from toothpaste and tap water is important, this may not be enough to completely prevent your teeth from decaying.

When you go for your regular check-ups and cleaning at the dentist near you, your dentist will give a special Fluoride Treatment to your teeth. Each fluoride treatment is quick and gentle, which simply involves smoothing the fluoride over your teeth.

If you are unsure if you are getting enough fluoride, be sure to talk to your dentist during your check-ups.

There are many myths regarding the use of fluoride, particularly in terms of the water supply. With the popularity of the Internet as a way to both research and spread information, it is easy to find negative and often disconcerting information regarding fluoride. Although much of this information is not based on fact, it has caused concern regarding the effectiveness and safety of fluoride use. For this reason, it is important that people educate themselves to better separate myth from actual fact for the health of their teeth.

Myth: People who drink fluoridated water will develop fluorosis.

Fact: Fluorosis occurs when a person takes in very high amounts of fluoride.

Eg: In the United States, the amount of fluoride that is added to drinking water is at a level that comes with a very low likelihood of fluorosis. Although some rare cases can be found in the U.S., they are typically very mild.

Myth: Fluoride is dangerous for children.

Fact: Fluoride is not considered a danger to children when used as intended. Drinking fluoridated water not only helps to strengthen teeth as they grow, but it can also prevent future tooth decay and loss.

Myth: It is extremely expensive for communities to fluoridate water.

Fact: Adding fluoride to the water is considered one of the less expensive ways to prevent tooth decay. It is cheaper in general than treating tooth decay.

Myth: Drinking fluoridated water will cause cancer.

Fact: Numerous studies and research have shown that the addition of fluoride does not increase the risk of cancer or other serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems. It is endorsed as being safe by both the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Myth: Fluoridated water does not have an impact on tooth decay.

Fact: There have been numerous studies conducted in the U.S. and in Europe that show that fluoridation helps reduce tooth decay among both adults and children.

Myth: Fluoride is medication that is forced on communities.

Fact: The fluoride that is used to fluoridate water is not a medicine. A U.S. court decision ruled that fluoride is a nutrient and not a medication.

Myth: The risk of autism is increased by fluoride use.

Fact: No evidence from research or study indicates that the risk of autism is elevated because of fluoride or fluoridated water.

Myth: Fluoridated water is not necessary because of the fluoride in toothpaste.

Fact: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the amount of fluoride in toothpaste doesn’t provide the level of protection needed to fight tooth decay. Together, fluoridated water and toothpaste work to provide maximum protection.

Myth: Fluoride is unnatural.

Fact: Certain levels of fluoride can be found naturally in water and other sources. Fluoridation only increases the level of fluoride to one that helps decrease decay.


To book an appointment with us at, ‘Smile Delhi – The Dental Clinic’– call us on +91-9811106871 or whatsapp Dr. Suprriya B Bhatia on +91-9811106377. You can also mail us on [email protected]

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Posted by: Dr Hema