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Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Importance of Fluoride in Dental Health

Fluoride is an element that is found naturally in foods, water, soil, and many minerals, and it can be extremely beneficial for the health of your teeth. By better understanding the importance of fluoride in your dental health, you can make an informed decision about incorporating it in your oral care routine.

How Can Fluoride Help My Teeth?

Fluoride is thought to protect the teeth in two major ways. The first is remineralization, as fluoride can accumulate in areas of the teeth that are losing minerals in order to strengthen the enamel. It can also protect the teeth from losing minerals, which can occur when the bacteria in the mouth produce acid by combining with sugars. This ultimately erodes the tooth enamel and can damage the teeth.

Fluoride can also help with disrupting the tooth decay process in several ways. It reduces the ability of the bacteria to produce acid, and this is a major tooth decay cause. It also provides an environment in which enamel can be formed, and it is of a high quality that makes it resistant to an attack from acid. Fluoride can also alter the developing enamel structure.

Who Can Benefit from Fluoride?

There are a variety of groups of people that are at a higher risk of decay than others, and these people can best benefit from treatment using fluoride. This includes people who have:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Snacking habits
  • A history of cavities and tooth decay
  • Braces, crowns, bridges, and other procedures
  • High carbohydrate and sugar diets
  • Little to no access to a diet

Excess Fluoride

It is important to note that excessive fluoride exposure can lead to health problems, and that excess can come from a variety of sources:

  • Certain foods
  • Untested bottled water
  • Inappropriate usage of fluoride supplements
  • Excessively high fluoride concentrations in natural water
  • Fluoridated mouthwash

Where Can I Get Fluoride?

There are many different ways to increase your fluoride intake. The most common way is to use fluoride-enriched toothpaste, but it can also be found in a gel form that you can apply to your mouth directly. If Dr. Matthews feel that you could benefit from added fluoride, he may provide a treatment during your checkup. During the treatment, we will place a mouth guard filled with fluoride into your mouth for several minutes, and you should avoid eating or drinking for up to 30 minutes after this treatment.

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