Fluoride: Your Essential Ally for Strong, Healthy Teeth

Fluoride: Your Essential Ally for Strong, Healthy Teeth

0 June 28, 2024

When it comes to dentistry, fluoride is one of the most fiercely debated topics. You’ve undoubtedly heard arguments on both sides of the discussion: one side claims that fluoride is unnecessary, while the other claims that fluoride is beneficial to your dental health.

What is fluoride? 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that may be found in the soil, water, and food. In nature, it is both common and abundant. Synthetic fluoride is manufactured for use in drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other dental hygiene products, as well as a variety of chemical goods.

Where is the fluoride used?

Fluoride is present in toothpaste, mouthwashes, certain floss, cement and fillings, gels, and varnishes, among other dental products. Fluoride is included in several goods because of its potential to prevent tooth decay by 20-40% and decrease cavities in patients of all ages. As a result, fluoride can save time and money by reducing the need for expensive treatments to repair decayed teeth.

How does fluoride work?

Fluoride prevents tooth decay by… 

  • Altering the way enamel grows in children under the age of seven, making it more resistant to acid assault
  • Reducing plaque bacteria’s ability to generate acid

All of these advantages assist to maintain and build tooth enamel, reducing the risk of tooth decay and other expensive dental concerns in the future.

How much fluoride do you require?

  • Fluoride at the correct dose prevents cavities but does not induce fluorosis.
  • Fluoride in drinking water is the most effective approach to prevent cavities. When it comes into touch with the teeth, it begins to work.
  • The appropriate quantity of fluoride in drinking water is around 0.3 parts per million (ppm), which is enough to prevent cavities but not too much to produce fluorosis. You can find out how much fluoride is in the water that comes out of your taps by contacting your local municipality.
  • Fluoride may be present in natural water sources. You may get your water tested whether it originates from wells or springs. It is safe if it contains less than 0.3 parts per million of fluoride.
  • It’s OK to use fluoride toothpaste if your water source has a fluoride level of 0.3 ppm or less, or if your child is breastfed.
  • However, if the fluoride level in the water exceeds 1 ppm, a kid is more likely to develop fluorosis. Water with fluoride levels of 1 ppm or above should not be consumed by children under the age of three. Also, this water should not be used to make baby formula.

Is usage of fluoride Safe?

When used appropriately and in suitable amounts, fluoride is safe and helpful, but like anything else, too much of a good thing may be harmful. Dental fluorosis is a disease that children can acquire if they are exposed to high fluoride for a lengthy period of time when they are too young, according to decades of study.

Affected children’s teeth may have white spots or lines on them, as well as brown or grey deterioration on the enamel in certain cases. Fluorosis can occur when youngsters ingest too much fluoride toothpaste since all water fluoridation systems in modern nations are monitored to ensure acceptable fluoride levels. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on them as they brush. It’s also a good idea to keep fluoride pills out of reach of little children. You can address any concerns you have with your dentist, and they will advise you on the best course of action for your kid.

Why Is Fluoride Safe?

Fluoride’s safety and effectiveness have been thoroughly proven, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When fluoride is ingested in the proper levels, there has never been any scientific evidence tying it to negative health impacts. In reality, research repeatedly demonstrates that fluoride in the quantities found in your toothpaste and drinking water is both safe and effective.

The CDC isn’t the only one who believes in fluoride’s benefits; according to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 125 organisations across the world do as well. The American Dental Association and the World Health Organization are among these organizations.

Who Requires Extra Fluoride?

Several cases may necessitate additional fluoride protection, including:

  • prescribed drugs: Many prescribed drugs cause dry mouth by reducing saliva flow. Cavities can be exacerbated by a decrease in saliva.
  • Gum recession: Periodontitis is frequent in adults, exposing a portion of the root surface of your tooth. These regions are softer than the strong enamel on the top of your tooth, making them more susceptible to decay.
  • Getting restoration treatment: Restorative work, like bridges or crowns is frequently required by adults. Fluoride helps to maintain the margins of these restorations, which protects your investment.
  • Orthodontic treatment: Orthodontic braces are becoming incredibly popular among adults. Braces make it difficult to maintain proper dental hygiene. Fluoride maintains your teeth healthy and cavity-free, even if you’re using orthodontic braces or appliances.
  • Sensitive teeth: Fluoride aids in the treatment of sensitive teeth, which is becoming more common. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a high acidic diet, increasing use of whitening treatments, and gum recession. A fluoride treatment can assist in remineralizing your tooth enamel, which can help to reduce sensitivity.
  • radiation therapy: A topical fluoride application can help those who are getting radiation treatment for cancer. Salivary glands are damaged by radiation, which reduces saliva output. Between your teeth and the food and liquids you ingest, your saliva functions as a barrier. Again, having less saliva can significantly raise your risk of cavities.

Fluoride is also necessary for the strengthening of tooth enamel and the prevention of tooth decay in children. That’s why, after normal dental cleanings, dentists frequently administer topical fluoride to children’s teeth.

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