The Importance of Fluoride For Good Dental Health

You're probably familiar with fluoride as a common ingredient in oral care products. There's a good reason so many dental hygiene products contain fluoride. Scientific research has shown the positive impact of fluoride on dental health. Here's what you need to know about your teeth and the importance of fluoride.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral. It naturally occurs in soil and rocks, both of which release fluoride into water. Therefore, all water has some level of fluoride. However, most American communities add fluoride to the community water supply. Studies carried out in the 1930s showed children whose water supply had high levels of naturally occurring fluoride had lower levels of tooth decay. As a result, community water fluoridation was introduced to America in 1945. Since then, researchers discovered a 25 percent lower rate of tooth decay for people of all ages in communities with water fluoridation.

In addition to water, fluoride is found in:

  • Toothpaste
  • Rinses
  • Professional fluoride treatments

What is the Importance of Fluoride and How Does It Benefit Your Teeth?

Fluoride prevents cavities when your teeth have exposure to adequate levels of it. Also, another factor contributing to the importance of fluoride is the fact that it strengthens enamel, which is the hard tissue that covers your teeth.

A professional fluoride treatment provides a much higher concentration of fluoride than you receive from fluoridated water. Children should get a fluoride treatment along with their regular dental check-ups. The early exposure to higher concentrations of fluoride on their developing teeth reduces their risk of tooth decay.

Also, adults who are at greater risk for cavities also can benefit from a fluoride treatment. If you drink bottled water instead of tap water, you're not getting the benefits of water fluoridation. Diets high in sugar or acidic food and beverages also put you at higher risk for tooth decay.

At the office of Dr. Mark S. Dill, DDS, our caring professionals provide compassionate dental services to patients of all ages.  If you're interested in a professional fluoride treatment for your child or yourself, contact us today to schedule an appointment.