Today for my blog, I’m going to revisit a topic with my look at fluoride and tea. The issue of fluoride is polarizing in our society and continues to spark ongoing debate about it being added to our communities’ drinking water. Interestingly enough, the debate even extends to tea. Fluoride occurs naturally in tea (green tea has approximately twice the fluoride as black tea) and tea has become one part of the larger issue.
In a nutshell, some believe fluoride added to our nation’s drinking water is ultimately bad for people. On the other hand, there are those who oppose such a view and say there are oral health benefits (fewer cavities). Myself, most other dentists and the American Dental Association support the proper fluoridation of drinking water.
However, which side should you believe?
Well, do a little research on the issue and form your own opinion. Can fluoride be harmful? Absolutely. Does fluoride help prevent dental cavities? Absolutely. Does this mean you should swamp your body with fluoride in order to achieve dental health? Absolutely not – any more than you should swamp your body with anything else (unless you’re in the shower or jumping into a pool or the ocean)
The internet is chock full of articles and proclamations about both sides of the debate. Be careful in your research to consider the credentials of both the author and website on whichever article you choose to read.
So, getting away from all the “absolutely” answers, you just need to remember to chart a reasonable path.
The introduction of fluoride as part of our nation’s oral health has lowered the rate of cavities (especially in youngsters) and is without a doubt a positive. A number of communities that bowed to pressure of anti-fluoride groups and stopped fluoridation but some have restored the practice. In one example, a Canadian city is about the restore fluoridation after public health officials reported a significant increase in the number of cavities in children as compared to other nearby cities that have fluoride in their water.
However, only so much fluoride is good for the human body. Fluoride toxicity can lead to problems with your bones and stimulate skeletal problems. Continuing forward with this thought, since tea can introduce too much into a human body, always be aware of how much tea you drink. The fluoride in tea has something of the potential for harm – but only if ingested in gargantuan portions and most individuals shouldn’t have any worry whatsoever about tea.
In the end, your toothpaste should have it because many people drink bottled water which may not have fluoride. At the same time, a sensible amount of tea should not cause you worry – just as fluoridated water should not. Always remember … it’s most often wise to choose the reasonable path – just ask your dentist about tea and his or her opinion about its fluoride content.