Sedation Dentist serving High Point, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and the Triad area.

Toothpaste, Mouthwash, and Fluoridated Water

Fluoride has been shown to harden enamel when it is incorporated into the forming of the enamel matrix. The more it was studied, the more the realization came that excess fluoride would cause “mottling of teeth, and excessively large amounts of fluoride has been shown to contribute to weak bones in’the body as it gets incorporated into the long bones. I support the American Dental Association’s (ADA) position that if fluoride at the concentration of one part per million is placed in the water supply, the benefit for the population involved will be a lowering of the cavity rate.

Some people have called the move to fluoridate drinking water a plan to “poison the water and promote health problems.” Th e other objection is that the fluoride used is’the by-product of aluminum production and therefore it is contaminated and should not be used. Free fluoride ions are free radicals, and they can combine with hydrocarbons and produce fluorinated hydrocarbons. Some anti-fluoride advocates insist that these compounds are cancer-causing, and that is their reason for opposing fluoride.

The health benefi ts of having a chlorinated water supply have been shown to outweigh the risks by keeping the levels of pathogens low. Th e benefits of fluoride have been’shown by numerous studies pre- and post-fluoridation, and without fluoride, we would need to increase the number of dentists to deal with the rampant cavities that would exist in our population.

In the original fluoride findings, communities with naturally fluoridated water sources showed significantly lower cavity rates. Th e studies from the fluorosis allowed us to come up with an optimal level of one part per million, which was enough to give the positive benefits without the negative effects of mottling or discoloration, or excessive fluoride buildup in the bones. If subsequent water supplies used a fluoridation process that allowed us to have optimal levels of fluoride and the method of placement in the water supply was transparent, I believe the public would benefit from it.

If communities are adding pure fluoride and are doing’sampling to make sure some parts of their communities’do not have excess fluoride in their water by pooling or improper mixing, then the benefits could ensue. If you are unsure about your water supply or are using well water, a water test would help you determine the existing fluoride level children need fluoride supplements. Some well water is naturally fluoridated, so make sure it is checked.

Some parents opt to use bottled water to avoid fluoridated water, and they experience the increased dental expense from having their children’s teeth filled or needing root canal treatment. So if your community can provide you’the source of their fluoride (for your peace of mind) and you follow up with water testing, you should feel good about enjoying the benefits of fluoride.

Another way of enjoying the benefits of fluoride is through’topical fluorides and use of fluoridated toothpaste. Neutral fluorides are a good way to avoid’the doubts of excess free radicals and fluoridation techniques, but caution should be taken not to swallow a lot of fluoride paste, as that can cause a stomach-ache or, in large amounts, fluoride poisoning.

Brushing with a fluoride paste can be followed by expectorating(spitting) without rinsing and waiting half an hour’to eat or drink. Topical fluoride can be absorbed into the’tooth structure to harden it and become a deterrent to cavity formation. Table salt is a neutral compound made up of a positive sodium ion and two negative chlorine ions; in like manner,

I have never been surveyed by a toothpaste company, butI know in their ads they always talk about how many dentists recommend their brand of toothpaste. I recommend most fluoride toothpastes for everyday use, but recommend’toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate for the first few days after the patient has a bone graft procedure.”Sodium lauryl sulfate breaks down salivary pellicle, making your teeth feel smooth aft er you brush; it also retards new epithelial tissue development at a critical time when your newly grafted tissue needs to stay covered.

The new formulations of toothpaste promise whitening,’tartar reduction, and fresher breath. The truth is all these benefits are available by doing your recare visits every’three months. If the toothpastes did what they promise,’there would be no need for dentists. Plain fluoride toothpaste with no addition of newer’sometimes harsher chemicals, and regular dental visits seems to be the answer for most of the population.

Speaking of harsh, many mouthwashes have alcohol as one of their active ingredients, but the tide seems to be shifting’to newer, “healthier options that are nonalcoholic. One of’the best mouth rinses for periodontal disease is one that contains chlorhexidine gluconate. It should be short-term’therapy only because it stains teeth, especially in areas where bacteria and plaque accumulate. This mouth rinse is dispensed at the pharmacy and generally requires a prescription.

Chapter 11: Osteoporosis and Your Dental Health