Why We Do Not Use Fluoride

FluorideMany patients ask us why we don’t use fluoride. Our simple answer is that it is a poison. Furthermore its benefits in decreasing tooth decay are being questioned.

Fluoride has been used in dentistry for decades because of its proposed effectiveness in reducing tooth decay. The Alberta Dental Association and College accept the use of fluoride as part of safe preventative treatment. In dental school, we are taught that fluoride makes the enamel more resistant to the acidic by-products of the bacteria in your mouth. For this reason, fluoride has been placed in our drinking water, put in toothpaste, and used in very high concentrations in dental offices.

However, this “cure” for the common cavity has come under scrutiny lately. In the July 2000 Journal of the American Dental Association, Dr. Featherstone published his research on the effectiveness of fluoride in preventing tooth decay. Dr. Featherstone took healthy extracted teeth, measured the teeth for fluoride concentration in the enamel, and immersed the teeth in acid. He found that the fluoride incorporated in the tooth during development was insufficient to withstand the cavity-causing acid of oral bacteria. The results were the same when he tested teeth containing 10 times the normal amount of fluoride.

More recently, the Center for Disease Control acknowledged in their report of August 17, 2001, “The prevalence of dental caries (cavities) in a population is not inversely related to the concentration of fluoride in the enamel, and higher concentrations of enamel fluoride is not necessarily more efficacious in preventing dental caries.”

Furthermore, fluoride causes cancer, brittle bones, dental fluorosis (white spots on the teeth), and neurological impairment.

If a child swallows more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste, the product label advises calling the poison control center. In dental offices, fluoride treatments are 1000 times more concentrated than toothpaste. Why would we place this in your mouth or in your child’s mouth?

With the mounting evidence against fluoride, our office does not use fluoride as part of our preventative maintenance. Our philosophy at Health First Dental is that your health comes first. For the same reasons we do not use mercury fillings, we will not expose our patients to fluoride. We will never put a known poison into your mouth, especially when its benefits are questionable at best.

Also see: Fluorosis

Read an interesting article about fluoride published in the January 2008 issue of Scientific American.

Watch an informative video about the questionable efficacy of water fluoridation: Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation.

For more information see the fluoride section of the IAOMT website.

Disclaimer: Most dentists are not of the view that fluoride is harmful to your health.