When you return to your dentist’s office twice a year for your cleaning and check-up, your dental hygienist will most likely ask if you want to do a fluoride treatment. Most people do not truly know what this really means. Continue reading for more information on fluoride, and why it is important.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is found in the earth’s crust, and can be found all throughout nature. In many areas, fluoride is added into the drinking water to improve the strength of teeth and prevent decay. In the 1930’s, several studies concluded that people who drank water that contained fluoride experienced far less tooth decay; up to two-thirds fewer cavities.
How it works:
Fluoride works in a few different ways to improve the strength of teeth. Ultimately, it helps strengthen the enamel, which prevents decay from taking over the tooth. It is extremely useful for children’s teeth which have not fully developed, but it is helpful to fully emerged teeth as well.
To discover if your city has chosen to put fluoride in the water, you can call your local water district. It is estimated that 75% of drinking water in modern America contains fluoride.
How to get fluoride:
Aside from drinking water with fluoride in it, you can use a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride to protect your enamel. Since 1960, there has been a considerable drop in people with cavities and tooth decay, thanks to the fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash that provides daily, at-home boosts of strength to the enamel. You can also have a fluoride treatment done through your dental hygienist when you go to the dentist for your cleaning twice a year. During a fluoride treatment or application, your dental hygienist will place the fluoride solution (usually a gel or foam) into a tray for both your upper and lower arch of teeth and will have you bite down for a designated amount of time.
While there has been much debate on whether fluoride is healthy to consume through water, the American Dental Association has produced over 70 years worth of research to prove that fluoridated water provides nothing but benefits for those who consume it.
By reading this article, you have taken the next step in minding your oral health to discover the various benefits of fluoride, whether it be attained through drinking water, toothpaste or mouthwash, or fluoride treatments given by your dental hygienist. It is important to take part in preventative care of your teeth, and using fluoride is a great step in the right direction in order to strengthen enamel and prevent the decay of teeth.
Author: Mark is an avid blogger and writes on the topics of healthcare and dentistry. He is part of marketing team at Cheshire Dental Center in Crewe.