Fluoride is an important part of dental care. Your toothpaste and mouthwash might contain fluoride, and your dentist may apply it to your teeth when you go in for your regular cleanings and checkups. But what exactly is fluoride, and how can it help you to have a healthy, strong smile? Your dentist in Harris County is here to tell you what you need to know about this mineral.
A Natural Mineral
Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs throughout the earth’s crust, and it is found in many places in nature. It is good for teeth in two important ways:
- When children are growing, fluoride helps to strengthen their bones. It hardens the enamel of both primary and permanent teeth before they make their way to the surface.
- Fluoride helps to harden adult teeth that have already emerged. It, along with other minerals, does this through a process known as mineralization. It replaces minerals in the enamel that get lost through everyday wear and tear.
Benefitting from Fluoride
How can you harness the power of fluoride to give your pearly whites a boost? One of the simplest ways is by drinking more water. Many municipalities put fluoride in their water supplies.
However, not all cities have fluoride in their water supply. You may be able to ask your local cities officials or get the information you want on a government website. About two-thirds of the U.S. population has fluoride in its drinking water.
Other ways to benefit from fluoride include:
- Brush your teeth. Most toothpastes contain fluoride.
- Use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride.
- Visit your family dentist in Harris County at least twice a year. In addition to using a fluoride gel on your teeth, your dental care provider may prescribe special fluoride supplements if you seem to be lacking this mineral.
What About the People Who Say Fluoride Is Bad for You?
There will always be some people who say that fluoride in municipal water supplies isn’t a good thing. They claim it is a form of forced mass medication and that ingesting fluoride does little for a person’s health.
However, it is important to take a realistic view of the matter. The Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association, and the American Dental Association all support the use of fluoride in public water supplies. The level of fluoride is kept at safe levels, and it plays an important role in preventing cavities in children. Furthermore, people who do not wish to drink fluoride are free to get their water from other sources.
Studies that may seem to conclude fluoride is unhealthy usually focus on areas where there is a very high level of fluoride in the water.
Fluoride is great for your teeth! To keep your enamel strong, let this mineral work its magic in your mouth.
About the Author
Dr. Alan Arrington and Dr. Rowland at Hamilton Family Dentistry are proud to serve the Hamilton community. Dr. Arrington has an extensive education that equips him to provide preventive dentistry and a range of other services. If you have questions about how to take the best possible care of your teeth, reach out to our office at 706-628-0011.