Busting the Myths About Fluoride

Busting the Myths About Fluoride

Asking for opinions about fluoride is likely to yield you as many different opinions as people you asked. With so much written on the subject in recent years on the Internet, it is easy to get caught up in the myths surrounding fluoride. Dentists in Tucson and throughout the United States recommend the use of fluoride, but the voices of dissent are often incredibly persuasive. So what is true and what is false when it comes to fluoride?


MYTH: Fluoridation Causes Diseases

Research published in 2000 on the subject of fluoride-related neurological disorders is the modern source for this myth, which has been around for 70 years. This most recent argument against fluoride in the water supply has not been verified despite numerous studies. Drinking fluoridated water is also commonly said to increase risk of cancer; this is also false.

MYTH: Tooth Decay has Declined Independent of Fluoridation

Many European countries had stopped the practice of fluoridation by 1970, and continued to see declines in tooth decay that were on par with countries that had continued with fluoridation. While this is commonly expressed as an argument against fluoridation, these declines are more commonly, and correctly, attributed to better dental care. Additionally, tooth decay rates in the United States are actually going up amongst children—a demographic who often has limited exposure to fluoridated water as bottled water becomes more popular.

FACT: Fluoridated Water is Effective

Since World War II—a sample size of more than 50 years—the fluoridation of drinking and community water has reduced tooth decay by upwards of 60%. Fluoride is proven to reduce the risk of cavities and decrease tooth decay, and fluoridated liquids are responsible for almost 75% of the fluoride consumption in the United States.

Fluoridation has been used successfully in the United States for more than 50 years, and is an incredibly cost-effective way to help the public maintain their oral health. For more information, call John Carson DDS at (520) 514-7203. We are one of the most trusted dentists in Tucson, specializing in cosmetic dentistry and utilizing the latest technology. From root canals to teeth whitening, we provide expert, personalized, dental care to patients throughout the Tucson community.