Fluoride For Dental Health
A staple in oral hygiene, fluoride is a natural cavity fighter. It’s so beneficial for dental health that many countries, including the United States, add fluoride to public water sources to improve the health of citizens. What is fluoride anyway? It is a mineral that is naturally found in soil, water, plants, rocks and even the air.
Every day the tooth receives and loses minerals on its enamel layer. When the minerals are lost, acid attacks the enamel. Fluoride helps strengthen enamel by making the surface of your teeth resistant to this decay from acidic foods and drinks.
The way fluoride helps protect teeth from tooth decay is that it strengthens and remineralizes weakened tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is a crystal substance called hydroxyapatite. When fluoride is added during the remineralization of teeth, it bonds new enamel to the teeth that is stronger and more resistant to acid.
It can also reduce tooth decay or gum disease caused by excess plaque. As tooth enamel becomes stronger, acidic foods and drinks are less likely to cause bacteria buildup.
How Can Fluoride Be Applied?
- Toothpaste and mouthwash — Fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth by using toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain the mineral. Toothpaste with fluoride has an ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. Mouthwash with fluoride is also available, but not recommended for children under six years of age.
- Vitamins — Several multivitamins are on the market for people who do not receive the proper amount of fluoride in their diet or water. It provides essential minerals and fluoride in one pill.
- Fluoride treatments — Dentists can apply fluoride to the teeth through gels, foams, and varnishes during a visit. While varnishes are painted on the teeth, foam and gels may be applied using a mouthguard.
If you would like more information on how you can keep your teeth healthy in Denton, MD, please call our office and we will be happy to help you.