Dental health professionals recommend using fluoride to build strong teeth. You have probably heard this claim before, but is it really true? How important is fluoride really? This guide will answer these questions, and more.
What Fluoride Does
First things first, why is fluoride so important and why do dentists recommend it so often? There is a very good reason for this. Tooth decay happens from acid buildup on teeth, which results from sugars being broken down by bacteria. Brushing goes a long way to remove this acid, but it cannot get rid of all of it. Fluoride protects the teeth from being corroded by the acid.
On top of that, fluoride actually acts to reverse the decaying effects. Fluoride repairs teeth ever so slightly. It is a very minor effect, but every little bit helps your teeth be as strong as possible. Essentially, fluoride protects and repairs your teeth, which makes it an incredible substance for dental health.
Sources of Fluoride
There are two primary sources that most people get all the fluoride they will ever need from — toothpaste, and tap water. Toothpaste is probably not a surprise to you. It is advertised to have fluoride, and nearly all dentists recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride. If you had any doubts about whether or not fluoride toothpaste was really good for your teeth, you can rest assured that it is. There are no real downsides to fluoride toothpaste, so you do not need to worry about using too much or swallowing it on accident. The recommended amount of toothpaste is about one pea-sized dollop. This has more to do with avoiding wasting excess toothpaste than anything related to safety.
The second source of fluoride may surprise you. Is there really fluoride in the tap water? There most certainly is in most. Fluoride is among the minerals most cities add to the water supply. If you drink any amount of tap water, then you are probably getting more than enough fluoride to protect your teeth. If you live in one of the few cities that does not add fluoride to the water, then you may want to consider an alternative source.
Dentists also offer fluoride treatments. These are common for children with developing teeth, but adults can get the treatment too. Essentially, the teeth are coated in a fluoride gel or foam. If you are concerned about getting enough fluoride, you should talk with an experienced dentist, like a Cary, NC dentist, about whether a fluoride treatment could be good for you.
Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into the importance of fluoride for dental health.