Fluoride is often advertised in dental offices and oral care product commercials, but many might wonder why fluoride so important for oral health. Coupled with regular visits to your local dentist, fluoride plays an important role in the strength and health of your smile.
For starters, fluoride helps the teeth by strengthening the tooth enamel, which makes it more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride also decreases the amount of acid produced by bacteria on the teeth, so much so that fluoride is known to be nature’s cavity fighter. Studies have shown that fluoride reduces tooth decay by forty to sixty percent.
When children consume fluoride water or use fluoridated toothpaste early on, it becomes easier to remove plaque as their teeth develop. When children are young, the natural fluoride from foods and water strengthens the teeth as they break through the gums. Because the fluoride helps the teeth develop a stronger protective shield, this process is known as a systematic benefit.
When children and adults brush their teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, they receive what’s called a topical benefit, since the product is applied to the surface of the teeth.
Coupled together, these approaches to applying more fluoride to our daily routines provide an extra barrier of protection to safeguard our teeth.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in different foods as well as water including most rivers, lakes, wells, and oceans. In recent years, communities have added fluoride to public water supplies to increase fluoridation levels. Some communities participate in community water fluoridation which gives equal access to fluoride for children and adults. Studies have shown that since the incorporation of community water fluoridation, the number of children developing cavities has decreased tremendously.
Before the development of community water fluoridation, children were known to have three times the number of cavities. As of today, 75 percent of Americans benefit from fluoridated community water systems. The remaining areas might already have enough fluoride in the water to improve dental health.
Fluoride can also be found in fish and tea. In some communities, fluoride is even added to table salt and milk rather than water.
Many kinds of toothpaste contain enough fluoride for topical benefits. For places that already have community water fluoridation, using a toothpaste that contains fluoride adds extra protection to the teeth.
According to the most recent and expansive, fluoride does not produce any harmful side effects, and the use of the substance is both wide-spread and enduring. To date, over 300 million people in the United States either drink fluoridated water or use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Incorporating fluoride into one’s daily oral homecare routine is a form of preventative care that will help stop teeth from decaying or falling out. With the use of fluoride toothpaste and regular dental checkups, you can safeguard your teeth against the wear of every day use and the threat of cavities.
At McBride Dental, we encourage our patients to visit us at least twice a year so we can do a thorough examination and offer suggestions to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Our goal is to help prevent tooth decay and other damaging dental conditions. Whenever a patient visits us, we can also offer dental sealants and deep cleanings among a variety of other dental procedures.
If you’re concerned about your oral health, call 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced local San Diego dentists.