Why is Fluoride Important for Your Teeth?

fluoride_wordcloudThis month is National Dental Hygiene Month, and East Madison Dental is celebrating by offering free fluoride treatments for patients coming in for a cleaning throughout the month of October.

Why is Fluoride Important?

Put simply, fluoride helps to fight tooth decay. Every day, the enamel, or outer layer of your teeth, loses and gains certain minerals. If you lose more minerals than you gain, tooth decay will start to occur as bacteria is able to start dissolving tooth enamel. Increasing minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate in your saliva can keep tooth decay from occurring by strengthening your teeth’s enamel. In some cases, fluoride can even help to reverse early tooth decay that has already begun. Fluoride is a great choice for gaining minerals because it’s available in water, foods, toothpaste, and as a dental treatment.

drinking_waterWhere is Fluoride Found?

Fluoride can be found in tap water in some areas, certain foods and toothpastes, and at the dentist’s office. Drinking a lot of water not only helps your saliva increase its fluoride content, it also promotes good dental hygiene by flushing out food particles and hydrating your body. Using a toothpaste with fluoride is also a good way to help keep your teeth strong. Your hygienist can recommend one for you. During your hygienist appointment, you can also request a fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments use a more concentrated amount of fluoride than what is found in regular toothpaste. This fluoride is applied directly to your teeth by your hygienist.

Fluoride for Children

When fluoride is given to children before teeth eruption, it can help to strengthen tooth enamel once teeth do appear. If a child has had cavities or is at risk for teeth decay as determined by a dentist or hygienist, then increased topical fluoride may help to fight tooth decay, such as toothpastes containing fluoride. Speak with your dentist or hygienist about fluoride supplements, treatments, and how to best provide fluoride intake for your child.