Did you know that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral? It’s true. Oftentimes, because fluoride is added to water and dental products, it’s thought of as a much harsher chemical—it’s become a modern practice to resist the use of chemicals (and for some chemicals that is a smart response, but fluoride is a natural cavity fighter—necessary to dental health). Fluoride helps to prevent a cavity in both adults and children by strengthening tooth enamel (enamel, remember, is the hard, protective, outer-coating on the tooth); fluoride makes the enamel more resistant to an acid attack.
Why Fluoride is Effective
In infants, who receive fluoride through water and food, fluoride makes the enamel stronger before any teeth have sprouted from the gum line. When the teeth do sprout from the gum line, fluoride helps rebuild any weakened tooth enamel—tooth enamel is weakened by the foods and beverages we consume. Fluoride in our foods and beverages provide a topical benefit to our teeth, because even after they are consumed, the fluoride is still present in saliva.
Where do I get Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in every water source on earth. As a mineral fluoride is added to most—over 75%—community-type drinking water sources—for over seventy years fluoride has been added to community water in an attempt to lower the
occurrences of tooth decay. You could also use toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Since fluoride toothpaste was invented there has been a significant drop in the occurrence of cavities in both adults and children (according to the ADA—American Dental Association—before fluoride was added to community water sources nearly three times as many children developed cavities; the CDC has declared fluoride to be one of the ten great achievements to benefit public health).
To benefit from fluoride, stick to a regular dental routine of brushing, at least, twice daily and flossing once. Remember to drink plenty of water, and to avoid, as best you can, all those sugary drinks that can do serious harm to teeth. Call Dr. Bagby today to schedule an appointment.