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Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Fluoride? The Answer is, Yes!

Posted on 4/20/2015 by Jolie

A woman with too much fluoride on her teeth smiling.Fluoride is a very good source of protection for your teeth's enamel. It is a mineral made up of metal and fluorine. It helps to strengthen the enamel and protect it from plaque and staining. However, too much of it can cause problems, especially in children under the age of eight.

When a dentist recommends fluoride it is because they notice that your teeth are becoming weak. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of your teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay. It also aids in combating cavities and plaque.

You Might Be Ingesting Fluoride and Not Know It!

Fluoride can enter your body through a variety of venues. Some common ways that you might ingest Fluoride are:

•  When you eat or drink items that have been processed using fluoridated water.
•  By swallowing toothpaste.
•  By taking prescribed dietary supplements that have fluoride as one of their ingredients.
•  Using mouth rinses, trays kits, foams, and gels that are given through dentists or bought over the counter.

Fluoridated water can also be found in communities where the water is processed. In these communities the water is not free like it is out of a well, but comes from a central location after it is processed. Fluoride was first introduced into community water in 1965.

What About Children Who are Under Eight Years Old?
Dental fluorosis is a condition that only children who are under eight years old can obtain from the intake of too much fluoride. The permanent teeth have yet to come in, therefore they are still in the developmental stage. Dental fluorosis only affects teeth that are in the developmental stage. Once all of the permanent teeth have come through, the child is no longer susceptible to dental fluorosis.

The best way to tell if your child has dental fluorosis is by checking their teeth for stains or pitted regions. Regular checkups to the dentist will ensure that your child is not at risk for developing dental fluorosis. You should not add fluoride to anything that your child uses such as toothpaste. Children under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash, whether it contains fluoride or not.

Adults have to worry as well. Skeletal Fluorosis is the disease that occurs when a person consumes too much fluoride. This disease is the reason too much fluoride is not a great idea. Skeletal fluorosis is where the bones have taken in so much fluoride that they begin to reshape or bend. This can cause a significant amount of pain. This has been seen in workers who have previously worked in any industry that used coal for fuel.

When is Fluoride Safe for me to Use?

Fluoride is a safe substance for everyone to use, abusing it is the potential threat. For people who want to strengthen their teeth due to the enamel weakening, using fluoride strips might be ideal. However, for children and others who may not need the extra fluoride or protection for the teeth, using strips and other fluoride methods might cause issues to occur. Unfortunately, you cannot remove fluoride from water at home. The process it takes to eliminate fluoride from water requires a distillation or reverse-osmosis filter. Boiling the water will not remove the fluoride from it.

There are two main ways that your body consumes fluoride, topical and systemic. Whitening strips and direct application of fluoride gel to the teeth are the most common out of the topical ways. Systemic fluoride is where fluoride is ingested into the body. It can be in liquid form or pill form. When someone is prescribed fluoride they are normally receiving a pill form of it.

Have questions about fluoride? Contact us today for more information.

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