Many oral health products such as popular brands of toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride. It’s also often added to public water supplies due to its positive effects on oral health. Lee, Bonfiglio, Veseley & Associates is an Annapolis, MD dental provider who understands that the maintenance and care of your smile is an important part of your overall healthcare and well-being and we consider it a privilege to be a partner in this endeavor. Read on to learn more about how fluoride strengthens teeth and how you can benefit from its effects.
What Does Fluoride Do?
Fluoride has chemical properties that enable it to strengthen your tooth enamel. The enamel is the hard outer surface layer of the tooth that protects the sensitive tissues inside, and cavities can develop there when enamel has been weakened. Fluoride is often referred to as “nature’s cavity fighter” because of its amazing ability to strengthen teeth and restore weakened enamel.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in small amounts in all water sources. Our bodies cannot produce fluoride on their own so we can only get it from outside sources such as drinking water or topical fluoride sources like toothpaste or mouthwash.
When the body takes in fluoride, it is absorbed by the tooth enamel from the inside out. It reverses early stages of tooth decay by helping the teeth replace calcium and phosphorus that harden the enamel. Minerals present during this process, called remineralization, need fluoride present to allow the enamel to absorb them to help keep it strong.
Why Kids May Need Fluoride Treatments
In children, fluoride works beneath the gum line before teeth have even emerged to ensure they develop properly. Since children are still learning good oral hygiene, their dentist may recommend a topical treatment such as an at-home gel or an in-office fluoride varnish to ensure they are maximizing fluoride’s developmental benefits.
Keep Enamel Strong At All Ages
Adults need fluoride, too. Many public water supplies have fluoride added to them, and most toothpaste and mouthwash have fluoride added as well. Combining topical treatments with consuming fluoride in your drinking water helps keep teeth strong and provides large scale dental care cost savings across communities.
Fluoride Alone Won’t Do
Don’t forget to schedule your regular dental exam and maintain good oral hygiene as this is the basis of all oral health. Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates, in Annapolis, is focused on the long term maintenance of a healthy, beautiful smile that provides confidence and the best possible quality of life. Schedule your comprehensive consultation online or call (410) 989-8298 to start restoring your smile and confidence today. Fluoride treatments are just one of the many ways you can help your teeth stay healthy and strong for the rest of your life.