toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste on it

Everything You Need to Know About Fluoride

January 23, 2019

Chances are you already brush with a fluoride toothpaste, but you may not know what fluoride is doing for you, or even where it comes from.

Benefits of Flouride

  • Fluoride reinforces your teeth and makes them more resistant to cavities. Our mouths naturally have bacteria which breaks down the foods we eat into acid, and that acid attacks our teeth.
  • Fluoride sticks to the surface of our teeth to protect them from the acid.
  • Fluoride also attracts calcium that is present in our saliva, which helps keep our teeth strong.
  • Fluoride is a natural substance found in rivers, private drinking wells and water aquifers.
  • Adding fluoride to your oral health routine goes a long way in preventing tooth decay, which remains the #1 chronic childhood disease in America.
  • Dental cavities are 5 times more likely to be found in children than asthma, but unlike asthma, tooth decay is a preventative disease.

Today, fluoridated water is helping to fight tooth decay in many areas of our country. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named fluoridated water one of the top 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century! Every dollar invested in fluoridation saves approximately 38 dollars in dental treatment costs, according to the CDC.

Flouride in Drinking Water

So, what happens if your drinking water is not fluoridated? You can still protect your teeth with fluoride. Here are some of the options available:

  • Visit your dentist and ask for a fluoride treatment. The fluoride treatment given in the office is much stronger than the one you buy over the counter in a drug store.
  • You will be asked to avoid rinsing, eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so it can be absorbed into your teeth.
  • The treatment can be done every 3, 6 or 12 months. Ask the dentist to recommend how frequent to have the treatment. These treatments are beneficial for children and adults.
  • Even if you have fluoridated water, your dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse, gel or antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Dentists can also prescribe a dietary supplement. Ask your child’s dentist or pediatrician if a supplement will be beneficial for your child and they can prescribe the proper dose.

The combination of topical and dietary fluoride is found to have the greatest effect on fighting tooth decay, so remember to include fluoride as part of your overall oral health regime.

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