Learn Why Fluoride is Important and How It Helps Fight Cavities

Close up photo of toothbrush with toothpaste on bristlesYou’ve probably heard of fluoride, but do you know what it actually does? Why is it in so many toothpastes and mouthwashes? Where does it come from and is it safe? You’ve got fluoride questions, and we’ve got answers. Read on to learn more about this important element of oral health from your Cumming, Georgia dentist, Dr. Jordan

What is fluoride, and where does it come from? 

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that can be found in water sources all over the world, from oceans and seas to rivers and lakes. In addition to occurring naturally, some cities also adjust the fluoride content of the local drinking water, increasing it to the level considered to have cavity-fighting effects. It is an odorless salt with a slightly bitter taste, and can be found in all plants, which absorb it from the water and soil. 

Why is fluoride important? 

Long story short, fluoride is an important tool in dental health because it keeps teeth strong. How does it do that? Well, first you’ll need to understand enamel, as well as demineralization/remineralization

Enamel is the outer layer of your tooth, and is made from tightly spaced mineral crystals. When you eat and drink, plaque forms on your teeth, and the bacteria in the plaque excrete acids that dissolve tooth enamel, resulting in demineralization. However, this loss of enamel can be balanced out when minerals in your saliva (or the water you drink) are deposited on your teeth, resulting in remineralization. When you lose more minerals than you gain, your teeth are at greater risk of developing cavities. Here’s how fluoride helps: 

  • Fluoride in food and water enters the bloodstream, and in kids, it becomes part of their permanent teeth, even if they still have their baby teeth. The fluoride will also be contained in their saliva, thereby remineralizing teeth from the outside as well. 
  • Fluoride can also be applied via toothpastes, rinses, or even dentist-applied fluoride treatments. These topical applications increase remineralization of the teeth, which helps protect them from cavities. 

If you’re prone to cavities, or want to protect your child’s teeth as much as possible, you may be interested in a fluoride treatment during your next dental checkup. Just let us know if you have any questions; here at Jordan Dentistry, we’re always happy to discuss your dental health concerns and questions with you to find the best treatment plan.

Give us a call at 770-888-6262 to schedule Cumming GA dentist appointments for you and your family, or contact us online. From routine family dentistry to cosmetic and periodontal services, we can help you improve every aspect of your dental health, all in our spacious, comfortable office. Now that’s something to smile about!

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