A lot of our North Tampa Dental patients at North Pointe Dental Associates are concerned about fluoride and if it’s necessary for them and their family. Our Tampa Dental practices recently asked American Dental Association (ADA) expert questions about nature’s cavity fighter, based on what they have researched.

An expert member of the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs reported in 2013 the ADA’s most recent topical fluoride guideline. Here are some answers to your most pressing questions on this hot topic.

Is fluoride really necessary? What makes it important?

If there is one thing all dentists agree on, it’s that fluoride is great. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in our environment. Back in the early1930s, it was noticed that parts of the USA were naturally fluoridated at higher levels; these areas had fewer cavities in the population.  Over the next 20 years, dental scientists conducted a lot of research. Researchers came up with a way to create water fluoridation in the 1940s and then we went on to professionally apply topical fluorides.  This treatment has probably been the greatest thing to reduce the cavity level in our population.

What would we tell our Tampa Dental patients who are concerned about the risks of fluoride?

Fluoride is safe for everyone. If you are still concerned, please review the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry – the best reference materials patients will ever find on fluoride can be found there. We also remind our Tampa Dental patients that small levels of fluoride are certainly safe. We have been researching this since the 1930’s and there is plenty of evidence to support this. The American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, The United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recommend fluoride, so there’s a lot of data that shows it’s safe and effective.

Should Tampa Dental patients get fluoride treatments?

Fluoride treatments can be effective in strengthening teeth for adults when we extrapolate from studies on children. For example, research shows that regular use of a fluoride rinse can help adults who have lost part of the bone on their teeth and have exposed roots.