Facts About Fluoride
Brushing and flossing our teeth is often done out of habit. We know it’s what we have to do to keep our teeth clean and our breath fresh. When it comes to oral health, aside from the common toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash, many people may not consider what they’re using to maintain healthy teeth and gums. But some substances, like fluoride, play a significant role in making our routines effective. Flouride is worth knowing a bit about.
What to Know About Fluoride
Fluoride comes from fluorine. Fluorine is a natural element found in the air and our water. Its derivative, fluoride, is intentionally added to our drinking water — more than what is in naturally — to help protect our teeth. To maximize its effects on maintaining proper dental health, it’s recommended that a certain amount be added to the water supply in our communities that then comes out of our faucets as tap water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that for water fluoridation — the process of adding to the concentrated fluoride already in the water supply — there should be 1 milligram of fluoride per liter.
Fluoride prevents demineralization and remineralization of the teeth.
The importance of fluoride in maintaining our oral health is significant, as it helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities, especially in children, in whom cavities are most common. According to the ADA, fluoridated water helps reduce approximately 25 percent of cavities in children. And since World War II, it’s estimated that by adding fluoride to the water supply throughout the country, tooth decay has been reduced by 50-60 percent.
Fluoride is also contained in toothpaste and other oral products like mouthwash as well as supplements. For communities in which there is no water fluoridation process or children don’t have access to enough fluoride in their water, there are other means for them to obtain the optimal amount of fluoride they need to prevent tooth decay and cavities. There are also dietary supplements that contain fluoride that they can take.
How to Incorporate More Flouride into Your Routine
Now that you know how important fluoride is and how beneficial it is for your teeth, here are some things you can do to increase your fluoride exposure.
There’s nothing you can do about your water supply and its fluoride contents as that’s taken care of at water treatment facilities. If you live in a community where the water supply doesn’t contain enough fluoride, however, you can increase your intake of fluoridated water by buying bottled water that contains fluoride. You can also use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Be mindful that for very young children, you can only use fluoride-free toothpaste to brush their teeth as toothpaste that contains fluoride is not approved for use in young children.
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day. You can also make sure to use mouthwash that contains sufficient amounts of fluoride. In addition, your diet is another way to introduce fluoride into your body. Try reaching for foods that are rich in fluorides, such as fruits and veggies like peaches, lettuce, and avocados.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Oral Health
Your oral health is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Our mouths are one of our body’s first defenses against bacteria. From talking all day to eating and drinking water, it’s easy for bacteria to enter our bodies through our mouths. This bacteria, if left to fester, can damage our teeth and gums and can cause oral infections. Proper oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing twice a day, can keep that bacteria, plaque, and tartar at bay.
Call Passes Dental Care Today
It’s equally important that you receive routine professional dental care in conjunction with maintaining the health of your teeth and gums at home. Passes Dental Care is a premier dental practice offering comprehensive care to help keep you in optimal oral health. Our founding dentist, Harvey Passes, has nearly half a century of experience treating patients throughout Great Neck, NY, and the surrounding areas. He’s been a pioneer in reducing the scary stigma associated with dental care while treating patients for their cosmetic, pediatric, and general dental care needs.
Call us today for a consultation or appointment at 516-858-5921 or contact us online, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.