It has long been known that topical fluoride treatments are not only very beneficial in preventing decay in childrens’ teeth but also in adults’ teeth and can help prevent root caries in older adults.
However, the use of fluoride is a very controversial subject. Fluoride should never be taken internally. It’s a poisonous byproduct of the tin refining industry and as you will see in the graphics on this page there are those that blindly love it and those it adamantly hate it.
As a dentist, my job is not to convince you one way or the other nor to make the decision for you. Personally I wouldn’t want
fluoride in my water.
So, my professional opinion is, because fluoride has been shown to harden the outer surface of your teeth and help prevent cavities, the topical use of fluoride in small amounts is acceptable and possibly even advisable as long as it is not consumed or swallowed.
Fluoride has also been shown to cause mottling of the enamel which appears as white spots or blotches on the teeth. It is also suspected of contributing to a certain number of systemic diseases including cancer.
It is unlikely that the government will ever come out and admit that fluoride is in any way unhealthy or poisonous because of the possible flood of lawsuits that would ensue due to such an admission. The same holds true for all the pharmaceuticals on the market. But more on that in another post.
In addition to the topical fluoride applied to your teeth by the dentist there is a prescription topical fluoride gel, called Prevident, which you can use at home once a day after flossing, brushing and rinsing. There are no disadvantages to using Prevident as long as you don’t swallow it. Some advantages are 1) it helps prevent cavities, 2) it will greatly, and quickly, decrease sensitivity in teeth, as long as that sensitivity is not caused by decay or defective fillings, 3) it can harden and remineralize small beginning cavities and decalcified areas on teeth and in some cases actually reverse the progress of cavities in their earliest stages.
After flossing, brushing and rinsing properly put a little ribbon of Prevident on your brush and gently massage it into your teeth, at the gumline mainly, on outside and inside surfaces for one to three minutes. Then spit it all out. Don’t swallow it and don’t rinse, drink or eat for ½ hour to allow the fluoride to work.
The reason Prevident is only available by prescription or from your dentist is because of it’s high fluoride content and potential toxicity if swallowed or eaten. HINT: milk is an immediate antidote to the tummy ache caused by swallowing large amounts of fluoride.
Legal CMA Disclaimer:
Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.
Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.
Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.
You can call us at: 814-693-6777 or just
Click the link to go to our webpage for more information.
And remember, You only have to floss daily the ones you want to keep.