Fluoride FAQs

fluoriDo you often wonder what the truth is about fluoride? Is it harmful or helpful? Is it really needed or not? There are usually positive things and negative things about everything, so what are the positive and negatives regarding fluoride? In today’s blog, your Des Moines Dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds discusses some fluoride FAQs.


Fact #1: Fluoride is a natural mineral found in most water sources. However, to be beneficial to people its low levels needs to be boosted 

Fact #2: Fluoride helps fight cavities. This has been repeatedly proven over the past 60 years. For instance, after reviewing numerous studies, an independent panel of scientific experts and public health officials concluded that fluoride reduces tooth decay by over 25 percent. Medicaid recipients from counties in New York that did not have access to fluoridated water received over 30 percent more treatments than those in counties that used fluoridated water. It has also been proven that children who drink fluoridated water continue to reap the benefits as adults in their 50s.

Fact #3: Fluoridated water is one of the most efficient ways to prevent tooth decay.

Fact #4: Fluoride protects teeth both topically and systemically. Systemically, if you ingest fluoride it protects your bones and your teeth by making them stronger. Topical fluoride comes in the form of toothpaste, mouthwash, and professionally applied fluoride treatments. Topical fluorides become incorporated into the enamel of the tooth helping repair it and making it stronger.

Fact #5: Fluoride is beneficial to adults as well as children. By remineralizing enamel is can stop and even reverse early decay.

Fact #6: Fluoride in the amounts as in your drinking water is non-toxic. Over 60 years of research has shown no connection between fluoride and ill health. For people who fear that fluoride causes cancer, kidney failure, or bone disease, it has been determined that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cap of 4 ppm of fluoride in drinking water, both protects against and gives an adequate margin of safety against any adverse affects related to the use of fluoride.

About your Des Moines Dentist

Contact your Des Moines dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. We welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.