FLUORIDE: WHAT IS IT AND WHY YOU NEED IT

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Have you ever been told by your dentist that you need a Fluoride treatment, but you don’t really know what it is or why you need it? Well you’re not alone, this is the case for many of our patients. So we wrote a blog about Fluoride to clear up any confusion.

WHAT IS FLUORIDE?

Often referred to as “nature’s cavity fighter”, Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in many foods and water. It can also be found in the form of an additive, called Fluoridation. It's used in many toothpastes and some mouthwashes. A more concentrated strength is used in dental offices as either a gel, foam, or varnish. It’s applied to the surface of your teeth to help strengthen the enamel.

WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

Your teeth are in a constant state of demineralization and remineralization because of the bacteria in your mouth. Bad bacteria contain acids, usually from the foods we eat, that demineralizes your teeth and erodes tooth enamel. Good bacteria works to remineralize and repair tooth enamel. So the problem occurs when the bad bacteria overtakes the good bacteria and that’s where Fluoride comes into play. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making it difficult for acids to attack tooth enamel and by speeding up remineralization. Brushing twice a day with a toothpaste that contains Fluoride is like taking a multivitamin everyday. However, sometimes your best efforts just aren’t enough and your dentist may recommend a professional, in-office treatment.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional Fluoride treatment four times a year for any age group. This is because of the high acidic foods we consume on a daily basis. Things like soda, coffee, energy drinks, and processed foods. Even fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, pineapple, blueberries, and grapes are all highly acidic. Avoiding these types of foods and incorporating more fresh vegetables will help offset the acidity.

Fluoride treatments may be covered by your dental insurance. If they’re not covered, treatments are relatively inexpensive. Without them, you leave your teeth vulnerable to decay. If you’re overdue for a dental checkup, contact us to schedule an appointment! We’ll get you back on track.

We work hard to provide useful, informative content for our readers. We welcome questions and comments. If you have something to add, let us know in the comments below!

Doug LaneyComment