Tooth decay is very expensive to manage as well as very painful. Many people around the world cannot afford dental check up, so they often resort to the use of fluoride for all teeth related matters. Also, the toothpaste used by most people contains fluoride.
However, fluoride has its side effects and this has been a source of concern to medical practitioners. According to medical news today “concerns have arisen regarding fluoride’s effect on health, including problems with bones, teeth, and neurological development”. Below are some of the health effects of Fluoride:
BRAIN PROBLEMS: In a recent report, exposure of children to fluoride before birth could lead to poorer cognitive outcomes in the future. In 2017, some medical researchers measured fluoride levels in 299 women during pregnancy and in their children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. They tested cognitive ability at the ages of 4 years and between 6 and 12 years. Higher levels of fluoride were associated with lower scores on IQ tests.
SKELETAL FLUOROSIS: Skeletal fluorosis involves bones and early symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. Over time, it can alter bone structure and cause the calcification of ligaments. It tends to result from long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride, often in drinking water. Several things can cause excessive fluoride in water, including accidental contamination from fires or explosions. It should be noted that water also has some traces of fluoride and this also has same effect as fluoride in toothpaste.
DENTAL FLUOROSIS: Unlike skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis affects the teeth directly. This happens when toothpaste containing fluoride is used while the teeth are still forming under your gums. This leads to white spots on the surface of the teeth. Other than the appearance of white spots, dental fluorosis doesn’t cause any harm.
This mostly affects children under the age of 8 who are still trying to form teeth, it has therefore been advised that anything fluoride should not be used for children when they are still at their teeth-formation age. Also, they should be supervised to ensure they do not swallow toothpaste while brushing.