It seems that every few years, there’s some sort of move to frighten the public about one thing or another. We all remember the egg scare from years ago, when Americans were warned that eating eggs would raise our cholesterol and kill us prematurely. It was only after tens of millions of people adjusted their diets to accommodate those warnings that the scientific community came back and said that eggs were actually good for us. Then they told us that red meat was bad for us – until studies showed no link between that meat and the heart disease they had warned us about.
The bad advice seems endless: butter causes cardiovascular disease; coffee causes cancer; avocados clog your arteries. Wrong, wrong wrong! So, when you hear people on television and elsewhere up in arms about the supposed risks associated with fluoride, should you take them seriously? Or is fluoride still as beneficial as we’ve always been led to believe?
There’s been a controversy over the use of fluorides since public officials began adding fluoride to drinking water in the 1940s. In the beginning, some claimed that it was all a communist scheme to make America sick. Others simply opposed fluoridation on the basis of a lack of definitive proof that the supplement offers real health benefits. Some point to countries with excessive levels of naturally-occurring fluoride as evidence of the dangers, as they observe various health problems afflicting those nations’ citizens.
The more extreme anti-fluoride crowd opposes not only fluoridation, but the use of fluoride in toothpaste as well. They promote natural toothpastes that are fluoride-free, despite the lack of evidence to suggest that those alternatives have any positive impact on the prevention of cavities.
What Do the Studies Say?
Though there are still some questions about fluoride’s benefits, there are many surveys and study reviews demonstrating that fluoride has a positive impact on reducing cavities for both children and adults. There are even reviews that reveal that childhood cavities are significantly reduced by water fluoridation. And where fluoride in toothpaste is concerned, the benefits have been long established.
So, how can we make sense of all of this? We all want to be safe, but that requires that we be informed as well – so that we can make reasoned and logical decisions to ensure our own well-being. In this instance, the best way to do that is to recognize that history is on fluoride’s side. Fear-mongering aside, fluoride has been a game-changer in terms of protecting our teeth and preventing cavities and other oral health problems. That’s why the dental community recommends daily use of a fluoride toothpaste to protect and preserve your teeth and gums.
At Ebenezer Dental, we know how important it is to keep things in perspective and not get caught up in emotion every time someone tells us to fear some familiar part of our lives. The bottom line is that fluoride should be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene regimen, along with regular dental care from the best cosmetic dentist in Midtown Manhattan. If you want to learn more about this important component of dental health, give us a call today.