Fluoride is a very important mineral for the prevention of oral decay. To help prevent cavities in the US population, fluoride is introduced to our drinking water. Some people have expressed concern that this may be dangerous, because fluoride can be toxic in high doses. However, there is little evidence supporting risks associated with fluoridation of water and much good evidence supporting its benefits.
Now a new study shows that one of the major concerns about fluoride–that it may affect developing bones–seems to be unfounded.
Adolescent Bones May Be at High Risk
Although many previous studies have looked at the risks of bone problems in adults, or the results of fluoride exposure through certain doses, this study looks at the development of bones in children who were exposed to fluoride the way most of us get it: through tap water.
The study looked at bone density measurements of 355 15-year-olds who had their level of fluoride measured. Children consumed and estimated 0.66 to 0.78 mg of fluoride per day.
Bone density measurements were taken of their whole body and of areas of particular concern: lumbar spine and hip. When they controlled for known determinants of bone density, such as calcium intake, physical activity, and physical maturity, they found that fluoride intake had no significant impact on bone density or bone mineralization.
No Need for Extra Fluoride
Although this study is good news for people who worry about the effects of fluoride, it’s a good opportunity to remind us about the importance of getting enough, but not too much fluoride. At elevated levels, fluoride can lead to bone damage and tooth damage. To avoid this, teach your children not to swallow toothpaste with fluoride. Don’t give your child additional fluoride, unless advised by their dentist.
Modern Diet’s Dangers Overwhelm Fluoride’s Benefits
Unfortunately, although fluoride does help protect people’s teeth from decay, it’s not able to protect your teeth from the high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, and often acidic foods people eat. Fortunately, dental restorations like tooth-colored fillings and dental crowns can be used to restore and protect teeth that have been damaged by decay.
If your teeth have suffered damage, please contact B&D Dental Excellence in West Nyack, NY today for an appointment.