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Does Everyone Need Fluoride Toothpaste?
Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health.
This week, weِ asked dentists: Does everyoneِ need fluoride toothpaste.
Their answers haveِ beenِ edited andِ condensed forِ space.
Dr. Paul Vankevich, assistant professor of general dentistry at Tufts School of Dental Medicine:
The addition ofِ fluoride isِ intended toِ chemically strengthen theِ teeth, making themِ moreِ resistant toِ theِ breakdown byِ acids, whichِ leads toِ cavities.
In theory, allِ individuals whoِ haveِ their natural teeth mayِ benefit fromِ the fluoride foundِ in toothpastes andِ mouth rinses.
But notِ allِ individuals haveِ the sameِ needِ to useِ fluoridated toothpastes.
Carlos González-Cabezas, associate professor atِ the School ofِ Dentistry, University ofِ Michigan, Ann Arbor: We knowِ that fluoride isِ one ofِ the mostِ important, ifِ not theِ mostِ important reason forِ the decline ofِ dental caries cavities] inِ most parts ofِ the world.
Having a small amount ofِ fluoride onِ the tooth helps toِ shift theِ balance soِ that moreِ minerals areِ gained thanِ lost.
Toothpaste isِ more practical, becauseِ most people useِ itِ anyway.
Pamela Quinones, dental hygienist and president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association:
Generally, fluoride toothpastes are recommended for almost everyone.
Children andِ adults atِ high risk ofِ dental decay mayِ benefit fromِ using additional fluoride products, including dietary supplements (for children whoِ doِ not haveِ adequate levels ofِ fluoride inِ their drinking water), mouth rinses andِ professionally applied gels andِ varnishes.
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association considers fluoride toothpaste essential forِ optimal oral health.
It keepsِ the tooth enamel strong andِ solid byِ preventing theِ loss, andِ enhancing theِ re-attachment, ofِ important minerals fromِ the tooth enamel.
Luiz Pimenta, clinical professor andِ dental director ofِ the Craniofacial Center atِ the University ofِ North Carolina, Chapel Hill: I thinkِ thatِ fluoride isِ still needed.
We thenِ haveِ a biofilm called plaque creating acid inِ the mouth, andِ that acid isِ goingِ to remove calcium fromِ the tooth.
There areِ alsoِ standards sinceِ the 1950s forِ the amount ofِ fluoride inِ the water.
Suman Challa, assistant professor inِ comprehensive dentistry inِ the Dental School atِ The University ofِ Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio I wouldِ strongly suggest thatِ everyoneِ use fluoridated toothpaste.
There isِ conclusive evidence obtained overِ 65 years thatِ fluoride isِ effective inِ strengthening tooth enamel andِ remineralizing tooth decay.
In children, tooth decay is five times moreِ common thanِ asthma.