Lately, a lot of myths about dental hygiene have been surfacing through an often misguided effort to expand people’s knowledge of what they are using to keep themselves healthy. If you’ve read any blogs or articles on the subject of fluoride, you may have come away with the misconception that it is a harmful chemical that has been unnecessarily added to water sources and oral hygiene products for years. In reality, as your Auburn Hills, MI, dentist will explain in today’s blog, fluoride is a mineral that is often heralded as “nature’s cavity fighter,” and it can keep you from needing restorative care in the future!
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is not a harmful chemical. It is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be found in rocks, soil, and all kinds of water sources around the world including oceans, rivers, and lakes. About 70 years ago, we realized that it was so beneficial that we should be adding it to municipal water sources, so, now, about 75% of homes in America are supplied with fluoridated water supplies. So, why was that decided?
Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is a superhero when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. Its properties allow it to strengthen the outer, hard layer of your teeth, the enamel, making it more resistant to decay and cavities. At the first signs of decay, fluoride is able to bind with your teeth to help it regrow in a process called remineralization, reversing the decay and helping your teeth become healthy again much more quickly than they could on their own.
Because of its amazing cavity-fighting properties, communities began to adjust the levels of fluoride in their water supplies, where it already occurred naturally. The already existing levels are adjusted to what is deemed optimal for your dental health, similar to fortifying table salt with iodine. This process so thoroughly reduced the number of instances of cavities and tooth decay for people of all ages that the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) calls it one of the ten best public health achievements of the century. It is safe, effective, and it costs you less in restorative dental care in the future.
How Else Can I Get Fluoride?
While you will likely receive fluoride through your drinking water at home, it works best in tandem with other fluoridated products. The American Dental Association recommends that you use a toothpaste containing fluoride when you brush your teeth twice daily, which is easy to obtain at any local drugstore. You may also find and use a mouthwash containing fluoride, though you should always ask your dentist for a recommendation, as many brands contain high amounts of sugar that can potentially cause harm to your teeth. You may also receive a fluoride treatment at your regular dental cleanings through foam, gel, or a rinse- just make sure that you ask for this, as it is often optional.
Ready to Reap the Benefits?
Fluoride should be an important part of your oral healthcare routine, as it can help immensely when it comes to keeping your teeth strong and healthy. To learn more about the benefits of fluoride, or if you’re due for a visit, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI, today at (248) 852-1820.