There’s a lot of controversy surrounding fluoride. I am a believer fluoride offers some protection to teeth when applied topically. I do not believe it should be ingested systemically. This is my approach with my children. We do use fluoridated toothpaste, but it is SLS-Free.
A new study has found that the actual protection fluoride offers our teeth by providing a “protective shield” is actually 100 times thinner than previously thought!
Dr. Mercola reports:
It has long been believed that fluoride changes the main mineral in tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite, into a more-decay resistant material called fluorapatite. But the new research found that the fluorapatite layer formed in this way is only 6 nanometers thick — meaning it would take almost 10,000 such layers to span the width of a human hair. According to Science Daily:
“The scientists question whether a layer so thin, which is quickly worn away by ordinary chewing, really can shield teeth from decay”.
Given this evidence, I will still use fluoride toothpaste on my children’s teeth. At least it will offer a little bit of protection during the night when they won’t be eating.
It’s hard to shake the belief in the power of fluoride I was raised on. I don’t have any cavities (neither does my daughter), so something worked. My son, on the other hand, has had a lot of tooth decay.
As Dr. Mercola mentions, the “real source” of tooth decay is “sugar being metabolized by bacteria”. Eliminating high fructose corn syrup from the Standard American Diet would probably be more logical and effective at preventing tooth decay.