There are a lot of questions about fluoride and we are happy to answer them. We respect patients’ concerns and preferences not to use fluoride. The information below is based off of various scientific evidence and what Dr. Frost has seen in his years of clinical experience.
Tooth enamel makes up the outside portion of your teeth and is a very hard material that includes the crystalline form of calcium and phosphorus, called hydroxyapatite crystals. The hydroxyapatite crystals make the tooth resistant to cavities. If fluoride is present in the blood stream when the enamel is being formed, the fluoride will be incorporated into the hydroxyapatite crystals forming a crystal called fluorapatite. Fluoroapatite is even more resistant to cavities than hydroxyapatite. Fluoride has also been shown to reduce the bacteria’s ability to cause cavities.
For children 6 months to 15 years old, consuming fluoride in water and other foods allows the fluoride to enter the bloodstream. Fluoride in the bloodstream is incorporated into the enamel of developing teeth before they even emerge from the gums.
Fluoride in the bloodstream of adults is not harmful in proper quantities. Since the enamel of adults is done forming, fluoride in the bloodstream is NOT incorporated into the teeth the same way it is for children. For adults, putting fluoride on the teeth themselves is how fluoride is beneficial. Fluoridated toothpastes, mouth washes, and trays that carry fluoride are all effective ways to provide fluoride directly to the teeth.
Is fluoride toxic? The answer is yes and no. Just like water and oxygen, too much or too little of a good thing can be harmful. There are defined parameters for how much fluoride a child should consume per day.