Fluoride: Facts and Fiction

Fluoride is a term we hear often, especially in the dentist’s office. It’s in our toothpaste, mouthwashes and even in food and water. So, what is fluoride and should we believe everything that is said about it?


Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in food and water that has health benefits. Fluoride is known for strengthening bone density as well as protecting teeth from decay. It is said it protects teeth by strengthening them to harden the enamel.


But with every truth, comes a whole lot of fiction. We are going to debunk some of these myths circling around, while also letting you know what you can believe.

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Fact: Fluoride is found in toothpaste.

Not only is it found in toothpaste, but it is also found in mouthwash, gels, foam and varnishes. The dentist’s office is just swimming in fluoride.


Fiction: Fluoride is bad for you.

This is not true! Instead incorporating fluoride into your dental routine, can make your enamel stronger, thus preventing tooth decay.


Fact: There is such a thing as too much fluoride.

Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is when a person swallows too much fluoride. You can tell if someone has this with the appearance of streaking white lines on your teeth. Though unlikely to happen by drinking fluoridated water, it is more likely to happen if you swallow prescribed fluoride toothpaste.


Fiction: Water with fluoride isn’t needed if it’s in the toothpaste and vice versa.

According to the CDC, one without the other just isn’t enough to prevent tooth decay. But the water and toothpaste together can provide great protection.


Fact: Fluoride can be found in a variety of foods. 

Fluoride can be found in many different foods including potatoes, carrots, raisins, lamb, black tea, parsley and even wine.


The bottom line? Fluoride is a good thing! It will help strengthen the enamel of your teeth to prevent tooth decay. But just like everything else, you can’t have too much of a good thing, so don’t overdo it on the fluoride!