Years ago, fluoride treatment was a common part of nearly all routine dental cleanings and exams. Recently, however, the question of whether or not fluoride is safe has been raised.

As it turns out, fluoride is safe, and beneficial to your oral health, but it can be dangerous in certain circumstances.

If you are over the age of 8, wear braces, have dry mouth, or have a hard time brushing and flossing your teeth properly, fluoride treatment is the most beneficial to you. This is because fluoride strengthens your enamel, the natural protection for your teeth, and, therefore, helps to keep your teeth healthy.

Fluoride in large amounts, however, can be extremely harmful. Fluorosis is a condition caused by over-exposure to fluoride that can cause permanent staining, softening, and crumbling of your enamel. Fluoride has also been proven to be fatal to young children if ingested in large amounts.

While fluorosis is a serious danger, you have no reason to be afraid of fluoride as long as you’re informed. It’s safe to assume that you use fluoride toothpaste, as it’s unlikely that toothpaste will get the ADA seal of approval if it doesn’t contain fluoride. Many areas of the U.S. have fluoridated water, so it’s likely that you ingest small amounts of fluoride everyday.

Also, if your dentist gives you a fluoride treatment, don’t be afraid to take it. Just be sure not to swallow it.

Waco dentist Dr. Corbet Locke and his team are dedicated to providing quality dental care to their patients. Call Corbet Locke, DDS at (254) 776-4888 for more information about general and preventative dentistry or to schedule an appointment.