Fluoride: a blessing or a curse

Fluoride is an adjunctive natural mineral supplement that has a specific effect on dental enamel and dentine, making the crystalline structure more impervious to acid attack by bacteria in the mouth, and thus the teeth more resistant to dental decay and gum problems.

Just like vitamins and minerals bought at a health store, fluoride “may be of benefit when other lifestyle habits are lacking”. It’s not a cure-all in the absence of good cleaning, flossing and dietary habits unfortunately, but it can definitely help swing things in your favour! Thus we at Dentists On Starkey are big fans of its use regularly through a variety of forms.

It’s true, too much of a good thing can cause harm. This applies to fat soluble vitamins, foods and many medications too. It’s important that kids under the age of 6 don’t swallow too much toothpaste. Ideally if they can use a specially formulated low-dose fluoride type, as too much ingested fluoride, can lead to fluorosis, a mottling and staining of the enamel of permanent teeth that can look quite unsightly if severe.