What egg fluoridation revealed
by Heimen Julius
At the website http://www.health.qld.gov.au/fluoride you find the Queensland Government's spin to convince us how desperately water fluoridation is needed in good old Queensland.
It was a relief to read that the old fashioned idea that ingested fluoride strengthens the enamel is no longer promoted. The modern view that this was never the case is based on dental research and expressed in a publication from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as follows:
Fluoride's caries-preventive properties initially were attributed to changes in enamel during tooth development because of the association between fluoride and cosmetic changes in enamel and a belief that fluoride incorporated into enamel during tooth development would result in a more acid-resistant mineral.
However, laboratory and epidemiologic research suggest that fluoride prevents dental caries predominantly after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children. These mechanisms include 1) inhibition of demineralisation, 2) enhancement of remineralization, and 3) inhibition of bacterial activity in dental plaque'(the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 22 October 1999/ vol.48/No.41.pp933-936/7-940).
The term topical means here that for fluoride to be effective it should only be applied to the tooth surface (Mouth wash; fluoridated toothpaste).
This modern view is reflected in the section on the Queensland Government's website, called: How does it work?'
With illustrations is explained how fluoride protects against acid attack on the enamel. This acid attack comes from bacteria growing on our teeth, and from acid foods and drinks we consume.
Finally this section is rounded off with a scientific experiment that simulates the protection fluoride gives against acid attacks, also called dissolution or demineralisation.
What you'll need:
1. bottle of high-concentrate fluoride mouthwash or fluoride supplements dissolved in water (from your dentist or pharmacy)
2. two eggs
3. 0ne bottle of white vinegar
4. Three containers
What to do:
Pour 10 cm of fluoride rinse solution into one of the containers and then place an egg in the solution. Let it sit for five minutes. Remove the egg. Pour 10 cm of vinegar into each of the remaining two containers. Put the egg that has been treated with the fluoride into one container of vinegar and the untreated egg in the other container of vinegar.
What will happen:
One egg will start to bubble as the vinegar, which is acid, starts to attack the minerals in the egg shell. Which egg do you think will start to bubble?
This seemed an interesting experiment to me, so I did it and a little more.
What did I do?
1. I bought Colgate NeutraFluor 900. This is a mouthwash intended for a weekly fluoride rinse, it contains sodium fluoride with 900 ppm fluoride. The label tells us that topical application of sodium fluoride increases tooth resistance to acid dissolution, promotes remineralization and inhibits the cariogenic microbial process.
(The experiment intends to illustrate fluoride's protection against acid dissolution or demineralisation)
2. I bought 6 small chicken eggs (300 g)
3. I bought 1 bottle of white vinegar
4. I bought a few plastic containers and a plastic conical measuring beaker with metric and imperial scales.
Then I set to work:
I poured the volume of ½ imperial cup NeutraFluor 900 into the conical measuring beaker. This was sufficient to dunk my first egg. I left it for 5 minutes, then I placed it, using metal thongs, into a little container with vinegar and watched what happened and wrote that down. Then I discarded the used vinegar and replaced it with fresh vinegar.
I continued by diluting the 900 ppm rinse by half, so that I got 450 ppm. I did this by removing half the amount of rinse from the conical measuring beaker (volume was now 1/4 of a cup) and added water till I reached the old volume of ½ cup. After stirring I placed my second egg into the rinse.
I continued to do this and finally I took an untreated egg and placed it in vinegar, and wrote down what I found.
What did I find?
1. Egg dunked in 900 ppm fluoride for 5 minutes, then placed in vinegar.
After 3 minutes the first tiny bubbles started to appear and after 5 minutes the egg was covered in a grey/white coat of very small bubbles
2. Egg dunked in 450 ppm fluoride for 5 minutes, then placed in vinegar.
After 1¼ minute the first bubbles appeared and after 2¼ minute the egg was completely covered in tiny bubbles.
3. Egg dunked in 225 ppm fluoride for 5 minutes, then placed in vinegar.
Within 1 minute (around 40 seconds) the first bubbles appeared. After 2 minutes the egg was covered in a thin layer of tiny bubbles. After 5 minutes this was a thick layer.
4. Egg dunked in 112 ppm fluoride for 5 minutes, then placed in vinegar.
Within 1 minute (around 30 seconds) the first bubbles appeared. After 2 minutes the egg was completely covered in a thick layer of tiny bubbles.
5. Egg dunked in 56 ppm fluoride for 5 minutes, then placed in vinegar.
After around 30 seconds the first bubbles appeared and after 1½ minute the egg was covered in a thin layer of bubbles
6. Egg placed in vinegar.
After around 30 seconds a fine layer of tiny bubbles was visible.
In this experimental setup it turns out that 0 ppm fluoride, 56 ppm fluoride and 112 ppm fluoride gave the same result: after 30 seconds the first tiny bubbles appeared.
So, it is obvious that 1 ppm fluoride in drinking water passing through your mouth in a few seconds (not 5 minutes) gives no protection at all against acid attack from mouth bacteria and acid containing food and beverages.
Please feel free to repeat this experiment yourself.
Egg fluoridation orignates from the Texas University at San Antonio.
LInk to site. http://teachhealthk-12.uthscsa.edu/curriculum/oralhealth/oralhealth04c-fluoride.htm
pdf copy of same web site as at 13 March 2008
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