Canadian City Sees Effects of Removing Fluoride

Known for its contribution to the Canadian auto industry, the mid-sized city of Windsor, Ontario, sits directly across the Detroit River from another major automotive hub: Detroit. But Windsor made headlines of its own back in 2013, when the city voted to stop adding fluoride to its public water supply.

Fluoridated water has long been shown to be a safe and effective way to reduce cavities and strengthen teeth and bones, but many still do not trust the additive and lobbied against it. In the case of those in Windsor, that lobbying was successful – or so they thought.

Fast forward to 2018, when the data from the city’s Oral Health Report revealed some startling numbers. According to the report, the city experienced a shocking 51 percent increase in Windsor children who required urgent dental care in the years following the fluoride removal. What’s worse, with only one in four Windsor families having dental insurance, the cost to treat these children – if they were fortunate enough to receive treatment at all – was passed along to their families and to taxpayers in the city.

And it just got worse from there. Because Windsor removed the equipment necessary to disperse fluoride, the city will now have to spend around $850,000 to replace the equipment, another expense passed along to taxpayers.

So, what does this mean for us here in America? While this story doesn’t directly affect us, it does go to show why fluoride and fluoridated water are so important for our oral health – and what can happen when that fluoride is taken away.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


Increase Fluoride with These Foods

There are many things we can do at home to improve or maintain the health of our teeth and bones. One thing we can all do to strengthen teeth and bones is to use fluoride. Whether in our toothpaste, drinking water or, yes, even the foods we consume, fluoride or naturally occurring calcium fluoride does our bodies good. If you would like to increase your fluoride intake naturally, you’re not alone. Continue drinking fluoridated water, but also try adding more of these naturally fluoridated foods to your diet.

Tea

Black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong tea or any tea in the camellia sinensis family are all high in naturally occurring fluoride. Another trendier tea drink you may have heard of called kombucha is also high in fluoride – however, be careful when ingesting kombucha, as it has also been found to be very acidic and can be dangerous for the teeth.

Grapes and Biproducts

Grapes are another food said to be high in fluoride. Not only are grapes higher in fluoride, but so are the products made with grapes, such as wine. White wine is said to be higher in fluoride than red.

Baked Potatoes

Though the potato has taken a hit in popularity due to keto diets, russet white potatoes are still very good for you and are a good source of naturally occurring fluoride. In fact, one potato contains about 5 percent of your daily recommended fluoride intake.

Canned Crab

Looking for a reason to indulge in some crab meat this summer? Aside from being low in fat and high in omega 3 fatty acid, canned crab contains enough fluoride to cover 7 percent of a woman’s daily recommended fluoride intake and about 5.2 percent of a man’s.

Take a Supplement

If you’re still not sold on these fluoridated superfoods, speak to Dr. Lesko about taking a fluoride supplement. You may be getting enough fluoride from your water supply, but if you’re concerned, Dr. Lesko can review your fluoride intake and make recommendations. Remember, the easiest way to get fluoride into your diet is to drink fluoridated water, but if you aren’t much of a water drinker, drink bottled water or live in a community that does not fluoridate, it is important to go on a fluoride supplement to protect the enamel of your teeth.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


Important News About Pregnancy and Fluoridated Water

A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics has found that drinking too much fluoridated water during pregnancy may account for a nominal dip in IQ in male children. The Canadian study revealed that among pregnant women whose urine contained fluoride, an increase of 1 milligram accounted for an average 4.5-point reduction in their sons’ IQs. For those with girls, no significant decrease in IQ points was present.

Despite these findings, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association still recommend pregnant women continue drinking fluoridated water, though both organizations recommend possibly reducing the amount consumed while pregnant.

Dr. Allison Lesko of Fort Collins, Colorado, agrees.

“Fluoridated water is still an excellent way to get the much-needed fluoride to protect your teeth and your child’s developing teeth from cavities,” she says.

Cavities affect up to 90 percent of the population, with one in four adults having untreated cavities.

“Poor oral health can take its toll on overall health, especially in pregnant women,” says Lesko.

Things like gum disease have been proven to cause low birth weight in babies, and gum disease can be caused by cavities if the cavity irritates the gums.

“Our oral health is tied closely to our overall health, and that includes both the teeth and gums,” Lesko says.

Another organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, echoes the importance of oral health care during pregnancy and continues to recommend pregnant women brush with fluoridated toothpaste during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has agreed to consider this new information when updating its pregnancy guidelines.

Lesko, for her part, says it’s important for people to not misunderstand the study and be scared away from fluoride altogether.

“The recommendation of the study’s authors is that pregnant women reduce fluoride levels, not discontinue them entirely,” she says.

Lesko recommends alternating fluoridated tap water with un-fluoridated bottled water.

“By simply swapping out a few glasses of water per day with un-fluoridated water, you can cut your fluoride levels and hopefully boost the IQ a little bit,” she says. “But be sure to continue drinking fluoridated water to some degree and make sure to resume your normal level of fluoridated water intake after the pregnancy.”

If by chance you do still develop gingivitis or cavities during pregnancy, Lesko says don’t panic.

“We can still perform fillings during pregnancy.”

Gingivitis is a common pregnancy issue. Upwards of 70 percent of women develop what is known as pregnancy gingivitis, sometimes despite excellent oral care. The good news, according to Lesko, is that the condition usually clears up on its own following the birth of the child. However, pregnant women are still encouraged to visit the dentist frequently during pregnancy to monitor their oral health.

Source:

https://www.aappublications.org/news/2019/08/19/fluoride081919

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


These Beauty Trends Can Destroy Smiles

If you’re searching for a whiter, brighter smile, there are many trendy products out there that claim to be able to help you reach your goals. But what you don’t know can hurt you. That’s because many of these so-called oral “health” products aren’t so healthy after all. In fact, they can be doing more harm than good to your teeth and gums. Before you reach for those white strips or that designer toothpaste, check out these surprisingly dangerous oral care products.

Trendy Flavored Toothpastes

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change up the flavor of your favorite paste from time to time. Basic mint can get boring after awhile. But beware some of the newer, trendier toothpaste brands that have sprung up in stores and online. They may taste great, but many don’t contain the recommended daily amount of fluoride, and thus aren’t doing as much for your teeth as they could be. Always check the packaging for the American Dental Association seal of approval, and if you’re not sure if a product contains fluoride, read the ingredients on the packaging.

White Strips

White strips have been an affordable, reliable way to whiten teeth for years, but a new study has found that they could be very dangerous to your teeth. That’s because researchers found that when hydrogen peroxide (the active whitening ingredient in white strips) was left on the teeth, it was able to penetrate the enamel and destroy the dentin of the teeth by causing it to crumble apart. While it is not yet known if this dentin can be revived or if this is problem is isolated to the pulled, dead teeth used in the study, for now we’d advise you to avoid these products until more conclusive evidence is reported.

Pulling

No, not teeth pulling – oil pulling. Though this ancient ayurvedic practice seems pretty safe, there are safer ways to rinse the teeth. First of all, it’s important to note that oil pulling with essential oils only removes surface stains. If that’s all you’re trying to do, you can achieve the same results using mouthwash, saltwater and, yes, even plain old tap water – all of which are proven safe for your teeth. Meanwhile, pulling with some varieties of oil has been found to cause pneumonia if the oil makes its way into your lungs!

Bottom line, you don’t need trendy oral health care products to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Just brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss once a day. This will keep your smile looking as white and bright as possible – without the risk.

Ready to make an appointment with Dr. Lesko? Call 970-221-5115 today.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


Dental Tips You May Not Have Heard

As with most professions, dentists must complete continuing education and training each year to stay current. But even if they weren’t required to, many dentists would still do it, because the more you learn, the more you grow. The same should apply to patients! Learning more about caring for your oral health means you can take better care of your teeth and live a healthier life in the process. Here are some tips for caring for your teeth that you may not have known but that can make a positive change in your oral health and hygiene.

Don’t Rinse Your Toothpaste

A lot of us brush our teeth and then what do we do? We grab a cup of water and swish or gargle and spit, washing away all the fluoride our toothpaste could be leaving behind. Of course, we don’t want you to swallow your toothpaste, but next time you brush, skip the swish and just spit out your paste. This will leave all the beneficial parts of the toothpaste behind on your teeth so they keep working even after you’ve stopped brushing.

And while we’re on the topic, make sure your toothpaste does contain 1,350 to 1,500 parts per million (PPM) of fluoride.

Watch Your Sugar Intake

Sugar has a bad reputation these days, and for good reason. It has been linked to everything from obesity to diabetes to, of course, cavities. The sugar itself doesn’t cause the cavities, though – it’s the acid byproduct of the bacteria that eat the sugar off your teeth. This bacteria wears through your enamel and causes cavities. But sugar tastes so good, doesn’t it? We’re not asking you to cut sugar entirely from your diet (although that would be ideal), but experts recommend no more than 8 teaspoons of sugar per day. And while that may seem like a lot, when you look at how much sugar is in the foods we regularly consume without even realizing it, many people may consume that just at breakfast.

Floss at Night

There doesn’t seem to be an official guideline about what is the best time to floss, but it makes a lot of sense to floss before bed. This removes all the food and plaque accumulated between the teeth during the day and keeps the teeth free of debris overnight. Of course, it won’t hurt to floss again in the morning (in fact it would help tremendously!), but if you are going to floss only once a day, make it count.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lesko, please call 970-221-5115.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


Infant Oral Hygiene

Whether you’re a first-time parent or consider yourself an old pro, it’s not uncommon to have questions about your infant’s oral health routine. From when to start to how to get started, the idea of caring for baby’s teeth can be overwhelming to say the least. But there’s no need to panic, mom and dad! You’ve got this. Here’s your primer for infant oral health care.

When to Start

Many people believe that the best time to start caring for their child’s teeth is when the first tooth erupts. This makes a lot of sense, but believe it or not you can actually start caring for baby’s teeth a lot sooner – before he or she even has teeth! By simply swabbing the gums with a gauze-covered finger and fluoride-free toothpaste twice a day, you are setting your baby up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene. Why start before teeth appear? There are two major reasons. First, it cleans the gums, keeping them free of bacteria and germs. Second, it gets your baby used to the feeling of having his or her teeth cleaned, so that when the first tooth does appear, your baby will let you clean it without putting up a fight.

What to Use

Before your child is old enough to spit out toothpaste, you should use fluoride-free paste to keep teeth and gums clean. Make sure you are either supplementing this with fluoridated water or receiving fluoride tablets or drops from your dentist. For infants with no teeth, you can gently swab gums with a piece of gauze or rubber gloves. Once baby’s first tooth appears, an infant toothbrush can be used.

When to See the Dentist

Another common question we hear is when babies should have their first dentist appointment. There is no set age for bringing an infant to the dentist. We recommend you bring him or her in for a first dental exam within six months of the first tooth erupting.

What Happens at Baby’s First Dental Exam?

Most first dental visits will be very brief. Baby’s teeth will be examined and counted, and good oral hygiene practices will be reviewed with the parents. Parents will be directed to schedule their next appointment within six to 12 months of the first, to keep baby comfortable with coming to the dentist.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lesko, please call 970-221-5115.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


Skip or Try: Toothpaste Alternatives

Brushing your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes is a necessity of life – but what you choose to brush with is becoming more and more open ended. With so many options flooding the marketplace, it can be difficult to know if the paste you’re considering is a good option. Here’s what you should know about some popular and up-and-coming toothpastes.

Toothpaste Tablets

Designed to solve the problem of toothpaste tubes sitting in landfills, one of the newest oral health inventions to hit store shelves are toothpaste tablets. These tiny tablets activate with saliva and require no water. Simply crunch on the tablet and it dissolves into a foam that you use to brush your teeth. Brush for two minutes as usual, spit and voila! Clean teeth.

As for how the toothpaste tablets help the planet, they come in small, recyclable jars that, unlike traditional toothpaste tubes, reduce the carbon footprint of brushing your teeth.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste is toothpaste made with activated charcoal that claims to whiten teeth and work as well as regular toothpaste. The only problem is, the American Dental Association says there’s not enough data to tell if charcoal toothpaste is safe or effective. What’s more, it carries with it a high risk of damaging both the gums and the tooth enamel. And, it doesn’t really whiten the teeth – it just reduces surface staining, something that any ADA-approved whitening toothpaste can do, without the risk of enamel and gum damage.

Baking Soda

Homemade baking soda toothpaste isn’t exactly a new invention, but it does work in a pinch if you’re out of paste or averse to strong flavors. The problem with using this type of paste regularly is that it’s missing one vital ingredient: fluoride. That being said, if you do need to make a makeshift baking soda paste, just mix 2/3 cup of baking soda with water until you reach the texture of paste you want. Then just brush as usual! If you decide you’d like to use baking soda toothpaste all the time, speak with Dr. Lesko about supplementing your fluoride.

All-Natural Toothpaste

There are many new designer “all-natural” toothpastes on the market these days, and most of them are perfectly safe. If you are interested in trying one of these pastes, just make sure it carries the ADA seal of approval – and happy brushing!

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lesko, please call 970-221-5115.

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:

970-221-5115

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado
80526


How Does Fluoride Strengthen Teeth?

You’ve probably heard your dentist make a big deal about the use of fluoride. While you may have thought it seemed exaggerated, the case for fluoride helping to foster optimal health for your teeth is incredibly strong and backed by research.

But how does fluoride strengthen teeth? How important is this mineral that has been prominent in oral health through the ages? Let’s find out!

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New Research Confirms the Importance of Fluoride

A new study published in the Journal of Dental Research has confirmed previous supporting evidence that U.S. children and teens with access to fluoridated drinking water are less likely to have cavities or dental decay.

The study looked at dental exam records from the last 10 years of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Water Fluoridation Reporting Systems from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It shows that counties where 75 percent or more of the population had access to community water that was fluoridated show a 30 percent reduction in cavities in primary (or baby) teeth and a 12 percent reduction in cavities in adult or permanent teeth.

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The Importance of Fluoride

Communities around the nation have been adding fluoride to their drinking water for 70 years now, yet many people are still unaware of the benefits and importance of fluoride, especially for children. The benefits of fluoride have proven so great that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named fluoridation of community water one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century!

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