We’ve all heard of it- but what is fluoride exactly? What does it do for your teeth, and what’s the best way to consume it? Our team at Snow Family Dentistry has all the answers!
What is fluoride?
Fluoride helps prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard, outer surface layer of your teeth that serves to protect against tooth decay. Unfortunately, tooth enamel is under constant attack by acid-producing bacteria in our mouths. Your body rebuilds and re-mineralizes weakened enamel, but sometimes not well enough, resulting in tooth decay. Fluoride optimizes the remineralization process and takes the place of the hydroxyl molecule, binding enamel to teeth more strongly.
The best ways to get fluoride:
- Drink tap water
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes.
- Have your Snow Family Dentistry dentist apply fluoride to your teeth directly with a varnish, gel, foam or rinse.
- Take a fluoride supplement prescribed by your dentist if your water supply isn’t fluoridated
Facts about fluoride:
- It’s natural- Fluoride is a mineral compound found in the environment and is naturally present in rocks, soil and water. Many of the foods we eat contain small amounts of fluoride, including oatmeal, grapes, asparagus, seafood, etc.. Fluoride occurs naturally in the body, too, as calcium fluoride. It’s a nutrient we need to build strong bones and teeth.
- Fluoride works all the time- It combines with your saliva so that your teeth are getting a constant fluoride bath. This provides continuous protection against bacteria.
- It’s difficult to get enough fluoride by diet alone- Although fluoride is naturally present in water and in many of the foods we eat, the amount is small and varied. Even foods with the highest amount of fluoride contribute only 2% to 4% of daily adequate intake per serving.
Need help taking your dental care to the next level? Schedule a free consultation with Snow Family Dentistry today!