If you have had an issue with cavities in the past, your mouth may be missing one key ingredient: fluoride. Fluoride is considered an effective natural deterrent of cavities and can help strengthen the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is made up of calcium and phosphate to form a thin layer of protection on your teeth that is actually stronger than the bones in your body, if cared for properly. Unfortunately, there are everyday dangers that could damage your enamel.
This is where fluoride can be useful.
Health Benefits of Fluoride
Water fluoridation benefits nearly two hundred million Americans – almost 75% are served water containing fluoride. It is a mineral and when things like sugar or acid try to break down the enamel on your teeth, the fluoride re-mineralizes your teeth and prevents serious oral issues. Once the fluoride is broken down and added to your saliva, your teeth are constantly in contact with the mineral for recurring protection.
In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city to fluoridate its water. At the time, they found that children who drank the fluoridated water were 60% less likely to experience teeth staining.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the number of 12-year-old children with missing or decaying teeth has dropped by almost seventy percent since 1968 due to the consumption of fluoride.
The presence of fluoride can prevent the following:
- Weakened tooth enamel
- Early symptoms of tooth decay
“Without fluoride, the enamel of your teeth is weakened and you’re more prone to cavities,” said Dr. Matthew Parr D.D.S, owner of Surf City Dental.
Am I Getting Enough Fluoride?
Many cities have fluoride added to their drinking water, but not every city in the country fluoridates. The CDC has a page on their website where you can check and see if your area participates.
If you don’t have access to fluoridated water, there are several other ways you can receive fluoride:
- Fluoride Supplements
- Topically at the dentist
Keep in mind, the amount of the mineral in water can sometimes be light and not provide full protection. Taking care of your teeth twice a day with the right fluoride-based products can have a lasting effect on your oral health. Here at Surf City Dental, we too can provide you with fluoride by applying it topically to your teeth during your next visit.
To ensure you are getting the most comprehensive dental treatment, visit us at Surf City Dental and learn about all of your options to combat tooth decay and cavities.