Glad you asked! Fluoride can be found everywhere in the natural world—throughout earth’s crust, in water, food, in minerals, and at your dentist’s office.
As the 13th most abundant element on earth, it is often added to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay. Does your city or municipality put fluoride in its drinking water? You can find out by calling your local water district. Since the 1930s, researchers discovered that there was a large difference between the oral health of people who drank fluorinated water and those who did not.
Fluoride works during the ebb and flow.
After we eat, the acid in our saliva causes a demineralization process, dissolving the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface.
At different times, our saliva is less acidic, and calcium and phosphorous replenish themselves to keep our teeth hard—remineralization. It’s during this process that fluoride reacts- it helps to boost the existing calcium and phosphorous, making teeth harder than they would otherwise be.
By the time your teeth enter back into the demineralization process, they are ready to tackle the ware thanks to fluoride!
Children, most especially, are susceptible to cavities. Fluoride treatments help children’s teeth harden and grow, and as children get older, fluoride in toothpaste helps sustain the effects. Though some wonder about the effectiveness of fluoride treatments at the dentist, there is no doubt that fluoride in drinking water has proven effects, and for those who live in areas without fluorinated drinking water, treatments at the dentist are vital.
No matter how brightly your mouth shines with fillings and crowns, fluoride can still protect the eroded areas by building up the enamel’s strength. But, it is usually only recommended by dentists for children to continue fluoride treatments until they are about 14 years of age.
Most toothpaste contains fluoride, and as more and more cities begin adding it to their drinking water, it is safe for adults (who have developed, adult teeth) to refrain from the treatments.
Contact Delicate Smiles today by calling 303-340-3330 if you have any questions regarding fluoride treatments for you or your children!