You want your teeth to last a lifetime, and one substance that helps your teeth is fluoride. Fluoride strengthens teeth enamel and helps to prevent tooth decay. It’s available from several sources including toothpaste and drinking water. By using fluoride at home and having fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office, you get stronger and healthier teeth.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in soil, water, food and the earth’s crust. By eating foods with fluoride or drinking fluoridated water, the outer surface of your teeth (called the enamel) absorbs the fluoride. The most important facts about fluoride are that it makes the teeth stronger, and rebuilds weakened enamel. Fluoride also makes the teeth more resistant to the acids that lead to cavities. Fluoride can even reverse the early signs of tooth decay, reports the American Dental Association.
How Do I Get Fluoride?
Many people get fluoride from the public water supply. Just by drinking tap water, you get fluoride for your teeth. Most toothpastes also contain fluoride, and many mouth washes also have fluoride. You can also get a fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office. The dentist or dental hygienist applies a fluoride gel or foam to your teeth, and leave it on for a few minutes. This treatment usually occurs when you get your teeth cleaned.
Is Fluoride Safe?
Many respected organizations support the use of fluoride in dental care. The American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization all have decades of research that prove that fluoride is safe for both children and adults. In fact, the American Dental Association reports that fluoridated water helps to prevent more than 25% of all cavities.
People do benefit from fluoride. It’s an effective way to prevent tooth decay and strengthen the enamel. For more information about taking care of your teeth, call our office for an appointment.