Why is Fluoride Important For Teeth?

December 17, 2018

You are undoubtedly aware of the importance brushing, and flossing has on your dental health.  But the use of fluoride offers enormous benefits too. Each day minerals such as phosphate, calcium, and fluoride are lost from the enamel layers of your teeth, (demineralization).   If those minerals are not replenished (remineralization), it will lead to tooth decay.

How does it work?

When carbs and sugar are broken down by bacteria in your mouth, acids are produced that erode essential minerals in your tooth enamel.  Fluoride helps to slow down that erosion and restore your weakened enamel layer.  Reversing initial signs of tooth decay, and preventing destructive bacteria from growing are two significant reasons to have it in your daily routine.

When is it most important?

During the period in which the primary and permanent teeth develop.  Exposure to fluoride is critical for dental health in children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years.  Although, adults certainly benefit from fluoride in fighting tooth decay!

Where do I find it?

Commonly, fluoride is in over the counter kinds of toothpaste, and mouthwashes as well as some local water supplies.   To see if your local water supply is fluoridated, visit the CDC website.

What if I already have a dental condition?

Those at increased risk of tooth decay may include people with crowns, bridges or braces, a history of multiple cavities, dry mouth or gum disease.  In such cases, a prescription mouth rinse or topical form of fluoride with a higher concentration may be necessary.

Is it safe?

When used as directed, fluoride is safe and effective.  However, at high doses, it can be hazardous.  Accordingly, it is important that parents monitor children’s use of fluoride-containing products and store them out of reach of little ones younger than 6.

Contact us with any questions, or to schedule your next appointment.  We offer a full array of services to help you maintain healthy teeth!