You likely know that fluoride can provide benefits to your teeth, but you may not be sure how it works or what benefits it provides. If you are a bit confused about fluoride, here is everything that you need to know about it.
Fluoride is a common mineral with properties known to reduce the effects of tooth decay over time. If you have early indications of having a cavity, it's possible that fluoride can reverse the effects of what is happening to your tooth. Fluoride plays a key role in making your teeth stronger, giving them the ability to resist acid that can cause your tooth enamel to become weak. Overall, fluoride will reinforce your teeth so that the surface cannot be penetrated. In addition, it is safe for both adults and children when it is used correctly.
If your home uses a municipal water source, it is likely that fluoride is being put into the water before it reaches your home. This is how most people end up getting the fluoride they need on a daily basis. However, many kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride to provide additional treatment when brushing your teeth. There are also fluoride oral rinses that can provide similar benefits. Overall, the question is typically not if your teeth are getting enough exposure to fluoride, but if your teeth are exposed to too much fluoride.
Being exposed to too much fluoride has the risk of causing physical problems in small children. There are known issues where a child can develop a condition known as fluorosis, which affects how their teeth develop under their gums. The teeth that come in can have notable pits, brittleness, and staining, which creates dental problems over the years that are difficult to correct. There are also studies that have linked fluoride to digestive and kidney problems.
As a parent, the best thing you can do is limit how much fluoride your children are exposed to. They'll be getting plenty of fluoride from drinking water, but you can further protect them by using a toothpaste that is free of fluoride. Small children are more likely to swallow toothpaste when brushing their teeth, even if by accident, so it is worth switching to a toothpaste without fluoride to prevent this from happening.
Have more questions about fluoride? Be sure to ask your dentist during your next appointment. They can fill you in on any details that you are missing. And if you don't have your own dentist yet, call Steven Abrams DMD today.