Fluoride is considered one of the best ingredients used in dental care today because of its many health benefits. Today, fluoride is found in everyday toothpaste, mouth rinses, and our community waters. But for those uncertain about fluoride and its uses, we’re here to explain the history of fluoride, why it’s used today, its side effects, and more to see whether or not it’s too good to be true.
What is The Purpose of Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found in stones, soil, water, and even air. However, its uses weren’t discovered until the early 1900s. Some researchers found that when attempting to resolve issues with children’s tooth stains, fluoride helped reduce those stains. Later on, studies eventually found evidence that it can help reduce the risk of cavity development, and studies that showed the effects of oral health with community water systems showed massive improvements in children’s oral health. Over the course of the next century, initiatives were being made to use fluoride in community water systems, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and other dental treatments.
Because of the studies made years ago and studies continuing to explore its benefits, many dentists advertise and support its uses. These reasons include the following:
- Strengthens Enamel: Fluoride works by binding to the enamel’s molecular structure. This bonding method strengthens the enamel over time and provides the teeth with a clean, strong surface against bacteria and acids.
- Bacteria Reduction: Fluoride stops bacteria production by bonding with the enamel, preventing the bacteria from forming layers outside the teeth.
- Prevents Tooth Decay: Because it bonds with the enamel, it reduces the impact of tooth decay significantly in young children and adults, protecting the teeth from damage and disease.
But are there any downsides to fluoride? Too much fluoride can in fact contribute to dental fluorosis, a condition that causes off-white streaks in the enamel. Despite how scary it sounds, the CDC states that dental fluorosis doesn’t have any risks to tooth function. In fact, this condition can make the teeth more resistant to tooth decay, only causing subtle changes to your teeth. Balancing out your fluoride can help reduce your chances of getting this condition.
Fluoride: A Good Mineral For Your Oral Health
If you’re looking to find better ways to manage your child’s dental health, balancing your fluoride intake is the best way to make sure your teeth stay healthy for life. This means limiting your tap water intake if your community adds fluoride to their water. If fluoride is needed, your dentist can supply fluoride supplements, especially if you’re living in non-fluoridated rural areas.
For more information about caring for your oral health, brushing habits, and treatment options, make sure to visit your local dentist for advice and treatments. Your dentist can provide you with the most up-to-date information about your oral health and help correct any issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and missing teeth, through state-of-the-art treatments such as restorations, orthodontic braces, and hygiene changes.