Dear Dr. Ellie,
I just read the FAQs on this topic and would like to submit an update that is greatly in need. The CDC is failing to follow its own Ethics guidelines in reporting all this health issue of this topic. Here is the official pdf link of the 28 page complaint filed by scientist and doctors alike. http://www.fluoridealert.org/cdc.ethics.complaint.aug.13.2007.pdf
Thank you so much for sending me your message.
I share very negative views about fluoride and I have spoken out against adding fluoride to water supplies since the 1970s.
I suffer the guilt of giving the oldest of my own daughters excess fluoride in the 1970s ( then a recommended supplement) and these girls now have front incisor teeth that show fluoride damage; the oldest daughter with moderate brown stains and the next daughter with white spot fluorosis. I learnt my lesson and my younger kids have totally beautiful enamel (without fluoride treatments, supplements and we filter fluoride out of our water supplies)!
As a pediatric dentist I would never recommend fluoride treatments for children or fluoride gels ( some with 9,000 parts per million strength).
My position on fluoride is only to accept its use in a 0.05 percent rinse of sodium fluoride.
This rinse is only necessary if you have damaged teeth or the potential of damage to teeth ( through diet, dry mouth, stress, open mouth breathing, allergies, aging, athletics, medications, hormonal changes or lack of minerals).
If you are no risk whatsoever, and have never had dental sensitivity, fillings, cavities, stained or worn teeth, then I would agree that the use this rinse is not necessary.
For the rest of us (I am old, have fillings from my childhood, am often grouchy, and live under stress) I suggest the use of this fluoride rinse as a preventive /restorative measure, where the fluoride is acting topically with the surface enamel. here it works as a catalyst to rebuild and beautify the surface enamel, keeping fillings in tact and teeth resistant and strong.
In this localized and topical way it can encourage teeth to remineralize, harden, become smoother and shinier ( so less bacteria stick to them) and resist acidity better for their future protection from damage. I believe that these benefits far outweigh the possible risks from the extremely small amount of fluoride residue that potentially may be ingested after spitting out 10 ml of rinse.
To rinse with 0.05 percent sodium fluoride and then spit it out of your mouth, in order to avoid silver, white or other metal fillings, root canals treatments, anesthetic, gum disease or tooth breakage or loss, I believe from my heart is the preference for general health. Poor teeth have such an impact on general health. Despite my negative views on fluoride and the fact that I never drink fluoridated water I have used ACT mouth rinse twice and sometimes three times a day for over twenty years. I have nothing but amazement at how effective this rinse can be for protecting teeth and for helping “teeth at risk” avoid dental problems.
I would be interested if you do not agree with me and I would want to know more about how you would protect the teeth of people at risk for cavities and gum disease.
Again, I am interested in dental health for everyone!
Ellie Phillips DDS