Flouride

An ordinary glass of water can help to strengthen your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral so beneficial to your smile, many communities even add it to their water supply.

Water naturally contains a small amount of fluoride, as do some foods.  Increasing this fluoride content creates a constant “treatment” to prevent tooth decay and rebuild weakened enamel. Regular contact with  these small doses helps maintain the surface and structure of your  teeth.

The Function of Fluoride

Throughout the day, your teeth are exposed to acids that can break down enamel and lead to decay — fluoride helps inhibit these acids from attacking the tooth surface. More importantly, it helps restore the minerals that have been worn down and repair weak spots in the enamel.  Fluoride is also especially beneficial for children because it becomes  integrated with growing teeth and helps develop resistance to acids  later in life.

Treat Your Teeth

In addition to the small amounts of fluoride you eat or drink, dentists  recommend you brush with a fluoride toothpaste. At your regular checkups, your dentist will typically treat your teeth with a higher concentration of fluoride to protect your teeth year round. If needed, your dentist can also prescribe fluoride supplements or recommend a  fluoride mouth rinse.

Who Needs it Anyway?

All patients benefit from fluoridated water, regular dental treatments  and quality toothpastes, but for some teeth, fluoride is especially  necessary. These include individuals with:

  • Dry Mouth Conditions — Some medications and conditions reduce saliva production and make it harder to neutralize acids on the tooth.
  • History of Gum Disease– Gum disease, or gingivitis, means your teeth are exposed to more bacteria and at higher risk for cavities and decay
  • Frequent Cavities– A history of cavities is a good indication that your teeth may benefit from additional fluoride.
  • Braces, Crowns or Bridges — Anyone with dental fixtures such as these should take special care to prevent decay and keep teeth healthy and strong.
  • Recent Teeth Whitening — A post-whitening fluoride treatment helps reduce sensitivity to heat and cold and restores important minerals to the tooth surface.

While fluoride is important for all adult teeth, it is also highly recommended for children — just remember that any dental treatment for children should be carefully supervised, so talk to your dentist before  introducing fluoride into your kids’ routine. Regular, responsible use can help the whole family keep healthy teeth and give you something to smile about!