Significance Of Fluoride In Dentistry
What is fluoride ?
In simple and clear terms fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in drinking water and some foods. It however varies in water depending on the place. The mineral strengthens bones and joints . It is also used to make a variety of tooth paste brands.
Importance of fluoride
Through research it had been proven that fluoride does help in a big way to offer support to enamel and helps in preventing tooth decay. This is because the enamel is made more resistant. It also had been shown to considerably reduce the amount of acid the bacteria produces. Shallower grooves have also been associated with high fluoride intake, these glooves make it easier to remove plaque that may have attached itself to the tooth. This has proven to be of benefit to all regardless of the age, in young children it promotes strong and healthy bones and teeth while among old people it prevents loss of teeth.
Long term research has clearly shown that, community water fluoridation is both safe and effective for drinking water. This is because it is both regulated and gives you the required benefits of fluoride without endangering the health of people.
How fluoridation saves funds
Fluoridation has proven to save a lot of money; this goes down to medical fee and expenses incurred as a result of constantly getting treatment of infections that would have been avoided through taking fluoride water.
One major advantage of fluoride is the fact that its is completely natural. It occurs in both ocean water , fresh water bodies and even some foods and beverages. Its advantages are immense but the need to limit it is important since excessive exposure to fluoride can lead to tooth decay.
Challenges associated with fluoridation
Despite fluoridation being associated with health benefits, it has also proven to pose various challenges. During the process of fluoridation of drinking water, everyone is assumed to take an equal dosage; this should not be the case more so with infants and elderly people. And it has been noted that even exposure to the fluoride in toothpaste also poses major health issues. Infants should only be exposed to tooth paste if there is guarantee that they can spit it. If not so, it can lead to fluoride poisoning; the side effects may be mild and in some cases so severe that it leads to death.
Fluoride has also been known to cause cosmetic complications, such include fluorosis. This is the staining of teeth that results from over exposure to fluoride. Though it does not lead to any major physical pain or discomfort, it has been known to lead to self esteem issues since it may attract attention and not for the right reasons.
In final analysis, fluoride has proven to have its advantages; but also notwithstanding, it does have disadvantages especially when taken in large quantities.