In the world of oral hygiene, fluoride is something you come across often. From fluoride toothpaste to the topical fluoride treatment that may be a part of your routine dental check-up, this natural mineral seems to pop up everywhere.
We’re here to tell you all about fluoride, from what it is to why it’s so beneficial for your smile.
What Is Fluoride?
Let’s start with the basics. Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in rocks and released into the surrounding soil, water, and air. In fact, it’s the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust!
Fluoride appears in natural groundwater at various levels, and while almost all water contains at least trace amounts of this mineral, it’s usually not enough to prevent tooth decay. Because fluoride is known to help build strong teeth and prevent cavities (which we’ll discuss more later), it’s often added to drinking water supplies as a public health measure, though this varies by state and town.
Benefits of Fluoride
So, why is fluoride an important part of good dental hygiene? As we said, this natural mineral has been proven to keep teeth strong and free of cavities. Here’s how:
Remineralization. Our teeth are constantly being demineralized by acid and bacteria and remineralized by saliva. As a naturally-occurring mineral, fluoride works to restore minerals and amp up the remineralization process to prevent cavities!
It’s important to note that fluoride does not remove intense decay, but rather helps to stop the decay from penetrating deeper parts of the tooth and turning into a cavity. However, it can reverse the damage caused by small cavities in some cases.
Many studies have shown that people with optimal water fluoride (considered to range from 0.7 to 1.2mg a liter) were 40-60% less likely to get cavities.
Beyond these benefits to your teeth, another plus of this mineral is that it’s easy to take advantage of. Your dentist likely includes a fluoride treatment as part of your routine dental check-up. During this simple treatment, a fluoride varnish is painted into your teeth with a small brush, or a tray filled with fluoride gel or foam is applied to your teeth for 1-2 minutes. This painless and non-invasive procedure can give your smile the added fluoride it needs for months to come!
Your dentist may also recommend that you use toothpaste with added fluoride (most toothpaste today already contains it). And if you’re especially prone to getting cavities, they might also suggest a fluoride rinse or gel that you can use at home.
Fluoride Treatment at Comfort Dental Care of Brookline
Ready to book a professional fluoride treatment or your next routine dental cleaning? At Comfort Dental Care of Brookline, we offer affordable family dental care for everyone and a variety of oral health services, including routine dental cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Contact us today to learn more about our dental services or to have more of your dental hygiene questions answered.