We have all heard the word fluoride. It accompanies just about every dental commercial ever put on the market! You should also know that it is most water supplies around the country, and we have seen excellent results from that method of fluoride distribution.
You probably still have questions about fluoride, so let’s take a look at what you need to know about fluoride and its benefits for you and your smile!
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element. It is found in soil and water, and it can be very beneficial to your tooth enamel.
How Does it Prevent Decay?
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. In order to understand how that prevents decay, you must first understand how decay happens in the first place.
Your mouth is full of bacteria, both good and bad. When you eat food, the sugars stick to your teeth, and the bacteria flock to that sugar and begin to feast! As they consume the sugar, acid is produced. That acid weakens your enamel, creating the beginnings of decay. Over time, that decay progresses into a cavity.
Fluoride strengthens your enamel so that even when acid is produced by bacteria, your tooth is able to stay healthy. Brushing and flossing are still necessary, but your tooth will be stronger against the acid attack.
Where Do We Get Fluoride?
We hope you have a better understanding of what fluoride does, but you might be wondering how you can make sure you are getting an adequate supply! We should point out that you don’t need to consume large amounts of fluoride in order to benefit.
We can help you decide if your teeth need a boost at your next appointment. Let’s take a look at your sources for fluoride.
Water Supply: This is probably the case, but you should check with your water supplier to see if fluoride is a part of your water supply. Some communities opt out of additional fluoride. If you drink bottled water, you are definitely missing this benefit! We recommend getting a quality water filtration system for your home and using a refillable water bottle.
Toothpaste and Products: Just about every dental product you pick up at the store will have fluoride added to it. In order to really benefit from that fluoride, you need to follow the time recommendations on the product. Toothpaste should be on your teeth for about two minutes per brushing, for example.
Fluoride Treatments: Here in the office, we offer fluoride treatments for your entire family. We only recommend this for patients who have weakened enamel or are struggling with decay. The procedure is simple; we place a fluoride solution in a tray and let your teeth soak it in for a few minutes while you rest in the chair.
You probably remember doing that as a kid! It can still benefit you!
Be Intentional About a Healthy Smile
Fluoride can be a great tool to improve your smile, but what we really want you to understand is that you have tools at your disposal to maintain a healthy smile. Fluoride is a great tool, but it’s not the only one.
Contact us today to set up an appointment or exam. We will work with you to create an oral health routine that is great for you and your smile! Call today, and let’s get started!