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How Was Fluoride Discovered?

The use of fluoride in dentistry dates back in the early 1900s. Frederick McKay, a dentist, found that several natives in Colorado (almost 90 percent) had serious brown staining on their teeth. This issue later became recognized as Colorado Brown Stain.

Right after noticing this rare occurrence, McKay began his collaboration with another dentist, G.V. Black. Through their collaboration, they began to uncover more about this rare disease. By means of thorough research, the two dentists came up with two very valuable discoveries:

  1. The brown stains were the result of a condition known as fluorosis. This condition occurs due to overexposure of fluoride.

  2. Affected people had teeth that were strangely resistant to tooth decay.

Dentist McKay was eventually able to figure out the root of this brown staining. It turns out, this was due to a water supply rich in fluoride. This isn’t surprising as there were considerable natural fluoride deposits in the Western U.S. at the time.

Fluoride Use in Dentistry

It was not until the 1940s that the awareness of the latter was employed. A 15-year fluoridation study of the Grand Rapids waters would then take place. At the time of the study, many researchers kept track of the tooth decay rate among nearly thirty thousand school children in Grand Rapids. Eleven years into the study, something incredible was found. The cavity rate was sixty-percent lower among kids born after fluoridation started in Grand Rapids.

Due to the success of this experimental study, states agreed to move forward with public water fluoridation systems. The goal of this was to lessen the occurrence of tooth decay and significantly improve oral health. Thus, fluoride has since become vital to shield the teeth from acid-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Ways to Receive Fluoride for Healthy Teeth

One does not have to actually consume fluoride to obtain benefits. Water fluoridation programs, though, are still advantageous.

By means of continuous research, researchers further found that the protective elements of fluoride can arrise from direct contact with tooth enamel. As a result, this can toughen enamel and defend it from plaque. In point of fact, the topical application of fluoride from oral rinses and toothpastes, for instance, is more effective than systemic delivery. Additionally, eating or drinking fluoride may bring about a few adverse effects at greater doses.

Thus, this is why when you go to the dentist, they have you spit out fluoride after swishing it around instead of swallowing it. In excess, fluoride can be toxic. It’s said that fluoride is more toxic than lead and slightly less toxic than arsenic.

Exploring More About Fluorosis

Brown staining of the tooth enamel is said to a symptom of too much fluoride. This typically emerges when excessive fluoride is consumed at the time the teeth are still in the period of development.

But, the rationale why one will notice a warning on any bottle or oral rinse or tube of toothpaste containing fluoride is because at excessively high levels, oral rinse is toxic. Keep in mind that fluoride can be poisonous, just like any mineral. For that reason, being mindful of how much fluoride you and/or your children are coming in contact with is critical to obtain the right benefits.

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