If the internet’s good for one thing, it is to give a platform for various whackjobs to spout their conspiracy theories for all to see.
The moon landing? Phony. The Earth? Flat. John Tavares leaving the Islanders to sign with the Maple Leafs? CIA operation is behind that.
Although the whole brainwashing angle has mostly gone away, a new fluoride conspiracy has gained traction — that fluoride is slowly poisoning us all.
Fortunately, saner minds, for the most part, prevail on this issue. Hopefully, they will continue to do so because fluoride is one of the best things a person can ingest to help strengthen their teeth. It also helps keep our bones strong.
Here’s the lowdown on this might tooth protector.
What is it and how does fluoride protect your teeth?
Think of your teeth as if they were a mine, with minerals coming and going all day long. Demineralization and remineralization — those are the two processes where minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.
People who think we should take fluoride out of the water supply are missing one little fact — fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. That’s right, you can find it in many foods and in natural water. Good luck signing a petition to remove fluoride from pickles, white wine, spinach, oysters, carrots, green and black teas, various fruit juices, Russet potatoes, asparagus, and even chicken.
It helps to prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids trying to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.
When is fluoride the most beneficial?
It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpaste, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments is important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.
Fluoride treatments with Prosthodontics of New York
Conspiracy theorists aside, fluoride is one of your teeth’s best friends. At Prosthodontics of New York, we give our younger patients concentrated fluoride treatments, usually with fluoride gel trays. But we can also provide fluoride for adults who have less-than-awesome enamel. Plus, seniors’ teeth need fluoride, especially to stem decay around long-placed cavities and such.
So, don’t listen to the know-nothing fluoride haters — your teeth love fluoride. And if you want to keep them chomping away until old age, you should love it too.