The Natural Cavity Fighter
As a natural cavity fighter, fluoride is important in maintaining oral health. Fluoride is even added to some countries’ public water supplies, including the United States, to help citizens maintain good oral health. What is fluoride? It is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in the environment. Teeth receive and lose minerals everyday through the enamel coating. Acid attacks the enamel when minerals are lost. Fluoride works to protect the enamel by making the surface of the teeth resistant to harm done by acidic foods and drinks.
Fluoride has a variety of benefits for oral health:
- It strengthens and remineralizes weakened tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is a crystal substance known as hydroxyapatite. When fluoride is added during the remineralization of teeth, it binds new enamel to the teeth that is stronger and more acid-resistant.
- It can 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 — Fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth with toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain the mineral. Look for toothpaste with an ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging that ensures it contains fluoride. Mouthwash is also available with fluoride.
- Vitamins — Fluoride can be found in multivitamins, making it an easy way to get the right amount needed. Almost 100% of fluoride in pill form can be absorbed by the body.
- Dental visits — A professional fluoride treatment will contain a stronger concentration of the mineral than a toothpaste or mouthwash. They take just a few minutes to apply to the teeth and can last until your next routine dental appointment.
Fluoride is one of the first steps — along with brushing and flossing — that you can take to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. If you have questions about your oral health in Kewaskum, please call our office. Our friendly staff will be happy to speak with you.