Fluoride – Dentist merrylands

Fluoride has always been a little controversial. It was first added to Australian water supplies in the 1960 and 70s, and the benefits for healthier teeth became evident over the following years. What many people overlook is that many water sources already have a certain amount of fluoride present. American scientists in the 1930s noticed that towns with slightly more fluoride in the water had better dental health. They started adding fluoride to many American water supplies in the 1940s, with dental health apparently improving as a consequence.

Heath and scientific authorities have endorsed fluoridation for decades. Where it is not added to water it is sometime added to salt. It is far more cost effective and troublesome that trying to repair damaged teeth.

Controversy sprung up again early in 2012 when it was discovered that some Chinese children that lived in areas of high fluoride water also suffered inhibited mental development. The problems here are twofold. For one thing there is not strong link between the fluoride and the children’s mental problems; the problems could be caused by many other things in the environment. Secondly, the amount of fluoride present was over 10 times the recommended dose! Australia recommended 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L; these areas of China had 11.5 mg/L. Furthermore this fluoride was not added to the water, it was naturally occurring in some Chinese water supplies.

Adding fluoride to a water supply is different to naturally occurring fluoride in water supplies. The natural occurring fluoride might well appear with other substances, and these might be a legitimate health concern. Artificially added fluoride is easy to regulate, and can easily be added without the presence of other materials that might actually be harmful

Even if the fluoride is the cause of the problems it could be because of the extremely high levels causing an overdose. Else, the fluoride could be reacting with something else in the water or environment. At an extreme possibility the fluoride might be compensating for the real cause of the problem. .

Fluoride is present in many foods, including vegetables, wine and tea. It is considered a micronutrient, and like salt it is need in small amounts. But like salt or other substances in large amounts it can be toxic. Health concerns should look at the amount of fluoride consumed, or other things that also occur in areas of naturally high fluoride concentration. The Australian recommended level of 0.6-1.1 mg/L appears to be of no concern; we get similar amounts of fluoride from healthy eating.

Talk to your Merrylands Dentist over any concerns with fluoride treatments.


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