Myth: “Fluoride is bad”
Truth: Your teeth need Fluoride or some of the alternatives. I know it’s controversial, but I like to take a reasonable approach. Read on…
I always start with the same disclaimer when I talk to my patients about this subject: I know it’s controversial, and I don’t necessarily think Fluoride is good for your whole body, so don’t swallow it. Brush it on your teeth, let it set and re-harden your teeth, and then spit it out. Don’t swallow.
I then always tell the same story: In the last 8 years since I’ve been practicing dentistry, I’ve seen a frightening amount of the same type of person. They walk in, with nice clothes, they eat organic foods, they are younger and care about their health. The problem is that they read or heard that Fluoride is bad. They started using Tom’s fluoride-free toothpaste or a homemade version. So, then I check their teeth. Uh oh, they have TONS OF CAVITIES. It might take hours of time and a lot of money to fix all this decay. I see it all the time: if the teeth don’t get Fluoride in some form, or some of my acceptable alternatives (see below), cavities grow, and sometimes fast.
But, I don’t scold them, I don’t try to ram Fluoride down their throat. I sit, knee to knee, and discuss a natural way to get their teeth the protection they need.
For most people, I recommend a prescription toothpaste, Prevident, which has extra Fluoride. I give these prescriptions out all day every day. I personally use this toothpaste probably 4-5 times a day because I don’t want cavities. And I don’t want my patients to have cavities, they are not fun for me to fix. I’d rather spend my time making beautiful smiles with veneers and implants and working with TMJ problems.
Regular toothpaste has some Fluoride in it, but in my opinion, just not really enough to fully protect you. That’s why I recommend a stronger, prescription strength version. But, you can also use a Fluoride rinse, like ACT or Pro-Health. Again, don’t swallow.
Last, my natural alternatives. I highly recommend anything with Xylitol in it. Spend some time looking in either a drug store or a natural food store for any products which contain Xylitol. Also, if you want to get really holistic, look for Miswak sticks at a health food store. This is a naturally occurring plant root, that has been used for thousands of years in the middle east as a natural tooth protector. When you suck on the stick, it releases natural Fluoride compounds. It sounds weird, but it works. I believe strongly that you need either a Fluoride rinse or toothpaste, Xylitol or Miswak, if you are going to make your own toothpaste or do oil pulling. I don’t have anything against home remedies, but just don’t miss out on the protection given by Fluoride and Xylitol.
If you have any questions about this controversial topic, I’d love to talk. Make an appointment for a consult or send the office a text. 321-777-6453