Depending on your age and the era that you grew up in, you likely remember the prospect of fluoride being added to the city’s water in order to help increase everyone’s oral health. In fact, you might even remember having to take fluoride pills in order to help protect your teeth from cavities. And although you might know that fluoride is good for your teeth and oral health, do you know why? Read on to learn more.
Why is fluoride beneficial?
Fluoride is found naturally in nature and is made from the chemical fluoron. Fluoride can make your teeth stronger and can help to prevent cavities. Fluoride can even help to reduce tooth decay.
But how does fluoride work exactly? Each time you eat carbohydrates, acids are created that attack your tooth’s enamel and work to breakdown calcium and phosphate minerals— making it more likely for your teeth to decay and cavities to form. However, once in your mouth, fluoride goes straight to the enamel and creates a protective compound called fluorapatite which reverses the damage caused by carbohydrates.
Why add fluoride to the water supply?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) having fluoride added to your water supply can prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Because think about it, if you are drinking the water from your tap everyday then you are adding an additional dose of fluoride to help protect your teeth a little more every day. Plus, fluoride is completely safe for your body and doesn’t change the taste of your water, so you really won’t notice the difference— except for a more cavity free smile.
How else can you get fluoride?
If your city’s or town’s water supply doesn’t contain fluoride, there are other ways to introduce this protective mineral into your mouth. For instance, you can use a toothpaste that contains fluoride— the majority of toothpastes do— or you can even visit your dentist’s office and have a fluoride gel placed on top of your teeth.
As you can see, there are many benefits of fluoride including its ability to protect your teeth from cavity and dental erosion. If you would like to learn more about fluoride or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith, contact our office today!