Fluoride has been associated with healthy teeth for decades. A mineral with natural cavity prevention properties, fluoride is added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and even the water we drink. Fluoride is important for teeth from childhood into adulthood and throughout your lifetime.
How Does Fluoride Help Prevent Cavities?
Fluoride is known to fortify tooth enamel. Along with other minerals, like calcium, fluoride can easily be stripped from your teeth by acidic or sugary foods and drinks as well as the bacteria that feed on sugar. Replacing this lost fluoride can help to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
What Are Some Sources of Fluoride?
Fluoride can be found in:
- City Water. If you don’t have a well, you are most likely getting your water from a city or county source. Many of these community water treatment plants add fluoride to the water as a benefit. If you have a well, you can buy fluoridated water to drink.
- Toothpaste. Many brands and types of toothpaste contain fluoride. If there is fluoride in your toothpaste it will likely say so on the tube itself or the box it came in. Read the ingredients to be sure what is in your toothpaste.
- Mouthwash. Another potential source of fluoride is mouthwash. Most mouthwashes include fluoride, but some don’t, so read the label carefully.
- Fluoride Treatments. When you visit the dentist for your regular dental checkups, they will usually recommend a fluoride treatment. It is either a paste that is painted onto teeth or in the form of a mouth rinse. Fluoride treatments from your dentist have a higher concentration of fluoride than daily use toothpaste and mouthwash.
Who Should Use Fluoride?
While fluoride can benefit everyone, there are certain people who may need it more than others. These people include:
- Children. Both primary and permanent teeth should get plenty of fluoride to prevent cavities. When permanent teeth are fortified with fluoride from the time they first come in, they will be stronger in the long run.
- People with braces. Braces increase the risk of cavities because it is easy for food and bacteria to collect around or under brackets.
- People who suffer from chronic dry mouth. A dry mouth has an increased amount of bacteria that can cause cavities.
- People who get gum disease. Fluoride can help to cure and prevent gum disease.
- People who are prone to cavities. If you’ve had a lot of cavities in the past, fluoride could help to prevent them in the future.
Is Too Much Fluoride a Problem?
In rare cases, ingesting too much fluoride can result in a condition called fluorosis. One cause is swallowing too much toothpaste on a regular basis. It tends to be more common in children, which is why it’s important to monitor them while they brush and use mouthwash to make sure they aren’t swallowing it.
Savannah Dental Solutions Can Help You Avoid Cavities
Along with fluoride, regular dental cleanings and oral examinations can help you avoid cavities. Call (912) 354-1366 today to make an appointment at Savannah Dental Solutions or request an appointment.