With the fluoride debate a hot topic in most of our home countries, we wanted clear up some confusion about fluoride in the water here in the UAE and answer a few commonly asked questions about its benefits and side effects.
Dr Amer, resident Cosmetic, Laser and General Dentist at The DentalSPA Dubai.
What exactly is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is incorporated into the enamel layer of the tooth, making it more acid resistant and therefore cavity resistant.
Who needs fluoride?
In a nutshell, everyone, but especially children because they may not be as meticulous with their hygiene and their dietary habits.
Should our children be taking additional fluoride?
As a rule, children should not need any fluoride supplement if the drinking water supply is fluoridated and they are using fluoridated toothpaste regularly. However, if a child is considered to be high risk – for example, has a high number of cavities, doesn’t have good oral hygiene habits, has severely crowded teeth, wears wire braces or if the fluoride levels in the water are unknown, then yearly fluoride during dental visits would be recommended.
Is it in the Dubai bottled water or tap water like other countries?
According to a recent article in The National Newspaper this year, while many Western countries add fluoride to tap water, which studies have shown can reduce the rate of dental decay, the UAE does not currently fluoridate the water. However, fluoride is added to Nestle bottled water, Al Ain Water, Palm Spring Pure Water and Mai Dubai to name a few. It’s best to check with the brand your family uses.
What are the side effects of too much fluoride?
Brittle, brown, stained and porous teeth, otherwise known as hyperflourosis. (If you’re unsure if you child is suffering, consult your family dentist.)
What are the side effects of too little fluoride?
Less acid resistant teeth that are often more prone to cavities.
Does The DentalSPA offer fluoride treatment? And to whom?
Yes, we offer fluoride treatment mainly to younger patients aged between two and 16. We also offer it to patients who suffer from Chronic Sensitivity and who have and are more prone to cavities.
For more information on fluoride treatment, or to book yourself and your children in for a dental check-up, please call The DentalSPA on +04 395 2005 or visit www.thedentalspa.org for more information.