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3 Things You Should Know About Fluoride

Each time you visit a dental office for a general examination and cleaning, your dentist will recommend completing a fluoride treatment on your teeth. Some people skip this step to avoid paying the extra cost, but there are reasons you should not skip this. Fluoride is something that is vital for the health of your teeth, and here are three things you should understand about this important mineral.

What Is Fluoride?

Most people know that fluoride is something that is good for teeth and is found in water, but most people do not understand what it really is. Fluoride is basically a natural mineral that comes from the earth.

You can find fluoride in some foods you eat and in some water supplies. People who live in homes with city water may have fluoride in their tap water, as many cities add this mineral to water. It is also something you can find in many tooth products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash.
Fluoride is something that adults need for their teeth, but it is even more important for children's teeth. When teeth are initially forming and erupting, they will be healthier if the child receives an adequate supply of fluoride.

How Does Fluoride Help Teeth?

Fluoride is unique for many reasons but primarily for the effect it has on teeth. Teeth naturally have layers, and the outermost layer of a tooth is called enamel. Enamel is a hard outer layer that is there to fight against things that threaten the health of your teeth. It also protects the inner parts of teeth, which helps fight against tooth sensitivity.

Enamel is vital for your teeth; however, it wears away over time. Enamel erosion occurs naturally over time to teeth, but it speeds up when people consume a lot of acidic beverages and foods. Enamel erosion also happens faster when people grind their teeth or fail to care for them properly.

Fluoride is unique because it strengthens enamel, and there is nothing else around that can do this. Getting the proper amount of fluoride helps keep your enamel strong and thick, and this helps prevent cavities from forming. Once the enamel wears off of your teeth, it never returns, which is why dentists stress the importance of fluoride usage and treatments.

How Can You Get Enough Fluoride?

There are plenty of ways to get enough fluoride for your teeth, and one way is by allowing your dentist to offer fluoride treatments every six months. A fluoride treatment involves placing a tray filled with fluoride foam into your mouth. Once there, you must leave it in place for several minutes. Afterwards, you should avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes.

Placing fluoride directly on your teeth and allowing it to penetrate will strengthen the enamel on your teeth even though you only get this treatment twice each year.

In addition to this, you should consider using a fluoride toothpaste each day and possibly a mouthwash that contains fluoride. You can also purchase bottled water that contains fluoride if you feel you are not getting enough, or you could take fluoride tablets.

However, you should avoid consuming too much fluoride, as this causes a condition called dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis leaves white spots on teeth, and these spots are intrinsic, which means they are located on the insides of the teeth.

Taking good care of your teeth requires several simple steps, and getting enough fluoride is one of them. If you would like to learn more about fluoride and the positive effects it offers your teeth, contact University Dental P.A. to schedule a visit with a dentist.
University Dental P.A.
3126 Devine St.
Columbia, SC 29205
Phone: 803-252-8101
Fax: 803-779-7721

Business Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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