Fluoride was an obvious win back in the day, and I still believe it has its place. However, the use of fluoride is prevalent and natural sources also contribute to our overall exposure. There are regions that have so much natural fluoride that adding more can be detrimental. In addition, we have seen a rise in fluorosis such that the CDC has a cautionary webpage.
The unfortunate state of affairs in the United States is that fluoride is our only real oral hygiene product that is FDA approved for reducing cavities. Therefore, dentists are reluctant to suggest any other products despite knowing about the rise in fluorosis. The last thing I will say about fluoride specifically is that, while it has been shown to be a benefit, the improvement is subtle. I don’t think fluoride alone can stand against the arsenal of the Western food products that are overloaded with sugar. So, all of us in oral health need to do better about raising awareness about diet, health, and healthy habits (brush after that sneaky snack attack!).
*Original full-text article online at: https://www.rdhmag.com/patient-care/article/14289543/an-interview-with-microbiologist-camille-zenobia-phd-oral-health-activist