The American Dental Association calls fluoride a superhero that protects your mouth against oral problems. This mineral has been used for decades as a preventive oral health care measure.
Fluoride exists naturally in plants, the earth’s crust, and many foods that we eat. It is also added to municipal water supplies and is widely used in dental treatments.
In this blog, our dental experts at John H. Ko, DDS, in Pleasanton, California, explain the importance of fluoride for your oral health.
Fluoride is the only mineral recognized and proven beneficial by the FDA for improving oral health. The benefits of fluoride for your dental health are:
Tooth enamel is susceptible to wear due to the acids found in foods and drinks that set demineralization in motion. When left untreated, demineralization causes the enamel to erode and weaken.
Fluoride remineralizes your enamel by bringing phosphorus and calcium ions together. This strengthens its surface making it more acid-resistant.
When left untreated, weak enamel often leads to caries. Over time, this decay can go deep into your teeth or the gums causing serious dental problems. By restoring the mineral balance in your mouth and strengthening the enamel, fluoride helps reverse early-stage cavities.
Worn-out enamel and exposed tooth roots often cause sensitivity when eating or drinking foods and beverages that are hot or cold. By strengthening your enamel, fluoride treats sensitivity and allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks.
When you wear appliances like braces, it is often difficult to clean around the wires and brackets. This leads to plaque buildup and calcification or white spots. Fluoride helps keep your teeth stronger and reduces these spots.
Although fluoride is found in food and water, there are also other sources you can get it from:
Using a fluoride-fortified mouthwash and toothpaste enhances the benefits of your oral hygiene routine.
Your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements in the form of drops or lozenges if you are at a high risk of dental decay.
Professional fluoride treatments are found in dentist’s offices in the form of topical, highly-concentrated gel, varnish, or rinse.
For more information on the importance of fluoride for your teeth, call (925) 847-8790 to schedule an appointment at John H. Ko, DDS, or visit our office at 5720 Stoneridge Mall Rd #200, Pleasanton, CA 94588.