Fluoride: Fact Or Fake News? [BLOG]

At Oregon Smile Care Center, we care about your family’s dental health.
That’s why we offer fluoride treatments for our patients as part of your dental check-ups. Fluoride has been branded as unsafe by some thanks to fake news, but our team in Salem, OR wants to make sure you don’t fall for such myths.
Today, we’re going to debunk some of the ‘alternative facts’ being generated about fluoride and tell you the truth about why it’s good for your family’s teeth!

Tracing The Fake News About Fluoride

We won’t get political on you in our dental blog, but it’s no secret that fake news has become somewhat of a recently popular phenomenon.
Part of it has to do with the changes in our technology, specifically with the internet, social media, and the mass media’s attempt to fill our 24-hour news cycle.
And everyone wants a piece of this competitive information sharing, which often leads to sensationalization of the facts, and consequently, confusion about what’s real and what’s not.

The Benefits Of Fluoride

Just like anything, you can have too much of a good thing. So while fluoride in excess could be potentially harmful, the amount of fluoride you find in toothpaste and professional dental treatments is totally safe.
In fact, fluoride is good for your teeth. Sugar and highly acidic foods and drinks cause tooth decay and enamel erosion. Fluoride coats your enamel to strengthen it and, thus, keep those dental problems from happening.
Fluoride also:
*Repairs surface damage to your enamel
*Makes your teeth less susceptible to being weakened by erosion
*Helps strengthen your child’s adult teeth when they come in
The short of it is that fluoride treatments and varnish serve as your teeth’s added protection against the effects of diet and damage from common wear and tear.

Fluoride: Fact Or Fake News?

Let’s take a closer look at some common myths about fluoride and its effects generated by society’s appetite for fake news!
Fake News: Fluoride Is Unnatural
Fact: Fluoride IS Natural
Fluoride is completely natural mineral that’s found in water just like iron, potassium, and others. In fact, it’s how the advantages of fluoride were uncovered in the first place. It was being used to explain how people who drank more water showed much lower instances of cavities than those who didn’t drink as much water.
Fake News: Fluoride Will Lower Your IQ.
Fact: Research About Fluoride Has Been Unfairly Reported.
Sometimes, all it takes to confuse the general public about the facts is to attach a study to your claims in an attempt to legitimize your case. Often, unfortunately, how things are spun and what an ‘expert’ concludes from a study can be a misrepresentation of the study’s facts.
There are studies, for example, that show some links between lower IQ scores and fluoride use.
Some would assume, or hope, that readers would just trust the credibility of this interpretation of the facts rather than read the actual study.
But even if research shows some kind of connection, that’s typically due to fluoride intake that’s off the charts in comparison to the amount used in dental treatments or a tube of toothpaste.
Fake News: Fluoride Is Dangerous Because It’s Used To Kill Rats.
Fact: Sodium Fluoride & Sodium Fluoroacetate Aren’t The Same Thing!
This fluoride myth is proof positive that the devil is in the details!
Although some people would like to conflate the two extensions of fluoride in rat poison versus the treatments you get in a dentist office, it’s simple not accurate.
To use a common analogy, you know that chlorine, although it’s a harmful chemical on its own, it is used to keep your pool water safe for swimming.
Sodium chloride, on the other hand, is entirely different. It’s a fancy term for the table salt you use to flavor your food.
The same erroneous idea tends to be applied to fluoride. What you find in rat poison is actually sodium fluoroacetate, while sodium fluoride is safe and widely used in dentist offices across the country to protect your teeth from cavities.

Schedule Your Next Fluoride Treatment!

We’ve unpacked some of the fake news about fluoride, so now you have a better idea of the purpose they serve in keeping your family’s smiles protected.
When you bring your family to Oregon Smile Care Center for routine dental cleanings and exams, make sure you take advantage of our fluoride treatments.
It’s especially important these days to stay on guard against the dental myths being circulated out there. What better time than Children’s Dental Health month to raise more awareness about the benefits of fluoride?
Although it’s tough to sort through fact and fiction in today’s 24-hour news cycle, you can always count on Dr. Hanson and our team to arm you with the right tools and information to get the most from your dental care!
Call our Salem, OR dental office at (503) 809-4784 or fill out our online form to schedule your family’s next appointment.

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