The mineral Fluoride is one of the keystones of strong dental health. Naturally found in a variety of food and drinks, Fluoride fights tooth decay. As sugars and bacteria work to erode your tooth’s enamel, Fluoride helps to re-mineralize your enamel every day. This process protects your teeth by increasing their resistance to acids. Extremely important and often misunderstood, here are the facts on Fluoride.
When children’s permanent teeth begin to grow, Fluoride becomes incorporated into their mineral structure. This process typically occurs starting at age six and continues until the late teens. The incorporation of Fluoride will naturally cause teeth to resist demineralization of the tooth from acids, and the continual intake of Fluoride reinforces this protection over a lifetime.
Sources of Fluoride
In an effort to maintain general health, most major cities in America and other nations will reinforce their water supplies with Fluoride. This process helps to ensure that children receive adequate amounts of the mineral during development and that the population continues to receive regular supplies. Most quality toothpastes also contain Fluoride, and reinforce your enamel as you brush daily. During regular teeth cleanings, your dentist will commonly apply a Fluoride gel or paste to your teeth as part of the process. These artificial sources work together with natural sources in your daily diet to provide an adequate amount of Fluoride.
People who are at a special risk for tooth decay sometimes require additional Fluoride supplies in order to ensure that their dental health is maintained. This extra boost can sometimes be found in special mouthwashes, tablets, or liquid supplements. Those who suffer from gingivitis, dry mouth, cavities, or damaged teeth are typically recommended to take Fluoride supplements under the direction of their dentist or doctor.
Bottled and Filtered Water
A popular myth is that those who regularly consume pre-bottled or filtered water are at a higher risk for tooth decay due to the lack of Fluoride supplementation that is typically provided by municipal water supplies. There is no direct scientific evidence that bottled or filtered water puts you risk for tooth decay. Despite this, many dentists and scientists, including Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai, strongly recommend consuming bottled water which bears the ADA approval seal. The ADA has worked with water providers to ensure that their product meets the requirements of your dental well-being.
Some people insist that Fluoride presents a health risk. In typical situations Fluoride poses no health risk and is a critical component in your dental well-being. However, when incorrectly supplemented, Fluoride can be hazardous, and even toxic. Additionally, a condition exists known as fluorosis, which is a discoloration of the tooth’s enamel, and is caused by over-Fluoridation from naturally occurring sources in children under the age of six. All commercially available sources of Fluoride, such as toothpastes or mouthwashes, contain such low amounts of Fluoride that reaching a dangerous concentration is nearly impossible. If you have any concerns about the well-being of your children, ensure that you store supplements out of their reach, use only small amounts of toothpaste, do not use supplemented toothpastes on children under six, and teach your children not to swallow toothpaste.
Any additional concerns about the consumption of Fluoride and your health, or the health of your children, should be discussed with your doctor or dentist.
Contact Us! Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai
Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai is ready to talk about Fluoride, or to just schedule a regular cleaning. Call us at 949-553-1111 or click below to get in touch with Barranca Dental Excellence in Irvine, Orange County California. Se Habla Español!