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Pleasant St Dental | East Longmeadow, MA

Is Fluoride Bad for You? (Myths About Fluoride)

Did you know that the only two towns in Western Massachusetts with a fluoridated public water supply are Holyoke and Longmeadow? If you want to check if your particular town has fluoridated water, take a look at the list put together by in 2021 by clicking here.

If you’re a lifelong resident of Western Massachusetts, it’s more than likely you’ve been told a myth or two about fluoride. After all, your municipality has gone against the status quo of many other American towns by not including the substance in your water supply. We thought we’d dispel the myths about fluoride and try and explain why it’s a good thing in low quantities.

Myth: Fluoride is Toxic

Fluoride was first introduced to public drinking supplies in 1945. We have an abundance of historical real-world data to shed light on the toxicity of fluoride. To put it simply, fluoride, as ingested through a city water supply, through dental treatments, or via prescription drops, is utterly harmless.

Too much fluoride can cause a disease known as “fluorosis,” but the amount of fluoride needed for this overexposure is far larger than what the public is exposed to. What does fluorosis cause? Stained teeth, or in extremely severe (and rare) cases, pitting of the enamel. In the near century of using fluoride, there is no evidence that fluoride causes cancer.

Myth: Fluoride Does Nothing for Your Teeth

Many people might try to convince you that fluoride does nothing for the health of your teeth. The easiest way to dispel this myth is to look at countries that have abandoned or never introduced the use of fluoride. Adults in these regions will typically have exponentially more tooth decay than regions that use fluoride. Many European countries that do not fluoridate their water supply will fluoridate their table salt.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that children need fluoride to build strong adult teeth and use fluoride before those teeth are exposed to the surface. As adults, we depend on fluoride to preserve our enamel and repel tooth decay. Communities that use fluoride have far fewer instances of tooth decay.

Myth: Fluoride is a Waste Product

Perhaps one of the most paranoia-filled myths about fluoride is that it is toxic waste, a byproduct of manufacturing, and as a means of disposal, was introduced to public water supplies. 

Fluoride is known as a “co-product.” It’s one-half of a product created in producing phosphorus for things like soft drink manufacture. Take a look at the full explanation here.

Myth: Fluoride is a Medication Used to “Control” Populations

Fluoride is not a medication but a mineral. It lacks the pharmaceutical properties to have any effect on the neurology of a person. Yet, the myth that fluoride is used to “lull” a community into compliance manages to survive.

You can read more about this conspiracy theory here. The first public outcry about fluoridated water was due to the paranoia that it was part of a communist plot. While the intentions of why a municipality would fluoridate its water have changed, the paranoia persists in pockets of our population.

We provide fluoride treatments, which, when combined with fluoridated toothpaste, can strengthen your teeth. This is especially important in our region since most of it lacks fluoridated water! Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.