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Facts about Fluoride

It's in toothpaste, it's in drinking water and it's even in seawater. Yup, it's fluoride. You may be wondering, "What is fluoride, and do we really need it?" Those are questions Dr. Simpson hears from her patients, and many of those patients have expressed concern about fluoride's presence in their everyday lives.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in the earth's crust and throughout nature. It can be found in certain foods and in water supplies. It's often added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay.

How does it work?

Fluoride is beneficial for children and adults, making teeth stronger and less prone to decay. It works by making the tooth surface more resistant to bacteria from the plaque on your teeth. This is what is called a "systemic" benefit. Fluoride also helps remineralization, which adds minerals like calcium back into our teeth. The fluoride essentially helps rebuild and restrengthen weakened tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or using other kinds of fluoride products provide an added "topical" benefit.

Do we really need fluoride?

Fluoride is recommended for both children and adults. For children, their developing teeth need the boost that fluoride provides. It helps to harden tooth enamel, making teeth stronger from the start. Because fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay, it's equally important for adults. In small children, parents should always monitor and control their child's fluoride intake.

Fluoride use is very beneficial and helps our teeth stay strong and lessen our risk of tooth decay. Be sure to discuss your questions about fluoride with your dentist at your annual visit. Call our office today at 910-791-7911.

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