benefits of fluoride

Is Fluoride Good or Bad for Oral Health?

There are a lot of rumors about fluoride, and many people wonder whether or not fluoride is good for you, bad for you, or if it’s even safe. Do the benefits of fluoride outweigh any other health concerns? The dentists at Sunrise Dental in Peoria can answer all of your questions about fluoride. In today’s post, we will explore some of the pros and cons of fluoride and its impact on your oral health.

Is Fluoride Good or Bad for You?

Fluoride Pros

Your tooth enamel has an even higher mineral content than your bones. Fluoride assists with remineralization and helps strengthen your tooth enamel, protecting your teeth from plaque and acid attacks. Because fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel, safe amounts are commonly added to toothpaste and mouthwash to help reverse the early signs of tooth decay and prevent cavities.

Fluoride Cons

Excessive exposure to fluoride before a child’s first teeth erupt can cause dental fluorosis, or white spots on the teeth. Most risks from fluoride affect toddlers and infants. Pregnant and nursing women should be careful with fluoride, because it has been linked to some thyroid problems and to neurodevelopmental disabilities. However, the amount of fluoride in drinking water and toothpaste is non-hazardous and carefully regulated.

Pros and Cons of Fluoride in Water

Fluoride occurs naturally in most water sources, however, pre-treated drinking water does not usually contain enough naturally occurring fluoride to benefit your dental health. Most communities in the United States add safe amounts of fluoride to their tap water. Community water fluoridation programs have proven effective at reducing cavities nationwide.

Drinking water that contains trace minerals and fluoride helps to restore and strengthen your tooth enamel. However, not all drinking water contains fluoride. Filtered water and bottled water often lack fluoride and other essential minerals, while distilled water and reverse osmosis water have no minerals or fluoride at all. 

Fluoride Treatments

If you prefer filtered or distilled water for its purity, you might want to ask for a fluoride treatment at your next appointment with Sunrise Dental. We can apply a fast-acting fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth after your next cleaning. 

If you have a history of tooth decay, cavities, root canals, or crowns, your enamel may need some extra protection. In addition to fluoride treatments, we can also recommend a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste or fluoride mouthwash to help protect your teeth from decay.

Schedule an Appointment

Do you have questions about the benefits of fluoride? Ask us at your next visit! Our friendly dentists can help you make the best decisions for your oral health. Call Sunrise Dental today at 623-487-4870 or visit our website to schedule your next checkup. We look forward to giving you a reason to smile!


Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash used under Creative Commons license for commercial use 2/21/2021.