Many oral health products for sale in your local grocery and drug stores, such as popular brands of toothpaste and mouthwash, contain fluoride. This mineral is also frequently added to public water supplies due to the positive effects it has on oral health. Dr. John C. Cranham is a Chesapeake, VA dental provider who understands that the maintenance and care of your smile is a critical part of your overall health and well-being and we consider it a privilege to partner with you in this endeavor. Read on to learn more about how fluoride can strengthen and protect your teeth and how you can benefit from its effects.
What Does Fluoride Do?
Fluoride has chemical properties that help it to strengthen your tooth enamel. The enamel is the hard outer surface of the tooth that protects the sensitive tissues and nerves inside. When the enamel is weakened due to tooth decay, cavities can develop there, exposing the inside of your tooth to infection. Fluoride is often called “nature’s cavity fighter” because of its amazing ability to strengthen teeth and restore weakened enamel.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride is a mineral found in small amounts in all water sources naturally. Our bodies cannot produce their own fluoride. Therefore, we must get it from outside sources such as drinking fluoridated water or topical fluoride sources like toothpaste or mouthwash.
When your body is exposed to fluoride in drinking water, it is absorbed by the tooth enamel from the inside out. It reverses early stages of tooth decay by enabling the teeth to replace calcium and phosphorus more efficiently, hardening and rebuilding your enamel. Minerals present during this process, called remineralization, need fluoride present to allow the enamel to absorb them to help keep it strong.
Why Kids May Need Fluoride Treatments
In children, fluoride works beneath the gum line before young teeth have even emerged from the gums to ensure proper development. Since children are still learning good oral hygiene, their dentists may recommend a topical fluoride treatment such as an at-home gel or an in-office varnish to ensure they are maximizing fluoride’s developmental benefits.
Keep Enamel Strong At All Ages
Adults need fluoride, too. Many public water supplies have fluoride added to them, and most toothpaste and mouthwash have fluoride added as well. Combining topical treatments with consuming fluoride in your drinking water can help you keep your teeth strong and provide large scale dental benefits across entire communities.
Fluoride Alone Won’t Do
Don’t forget to schedule your regular dental exam and maintain good oral hygiene as this is the basis of all oral health. Dr. Cranham and the staff of his Chesapeake, VA office are focused on the long term maintenance of a healthy, beautiful smile that provides confidence and the best possible quality of life. Schedule your comprehensive consultation online or call 757.656.4109 to start restoring your smile and confidence today. Fluoride treatments are just one of the many simple and effective ways you can help your teeth stay healthy and strong for the rest of your life.