Fluoride – we hear dentists mention it frequently and passionately, so what’s the big deal? This post will answer that question – going into detail about what fluoride is, how it promotes excellent dental health and the methods for application.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found all over the planet – it is often present in some of the foods we eat and the water we drink. In the early 20th century, researchers discovered that people who grew up consuming fluoridated water had significantly fewer cavities than those who did not. Since then, establishments such as the American Dental Association, American Health Association and the World Health Organization have all endorsed fluoride and the dental benefits it offers. In fact, DearDoctor.com has stated “fluoridation in dentistry is one of the ten most important public health measures of the 20th century.”
What are the Dental Benefits of Fluoride?
The primary dental benefit of fluoride is that it reduces the risk of cavities. Fluoride replaces the softer, weaker parts of your teeth with strong materials, preventing against cavities and tooth breakage. It is helpful during the development of teeth and has proven advantageous in adult teeth as well. In short, fluoride is best described as a mineral that is your lifelong dental ally!
How is Fluoride Applied or Consumed?
There are two effective ways to receive fluoride: topically and systemically.
Topical fluorides are those placed directly on the surface of the teeth – examples include brushing and rinsing with fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash. Other examples can be found at the dental office. At Barotz Dental, we offer two forms of fluoride: a foam and a varnish. Since both methods are effective, you get to choose your style of fluoride based on preference, comfort, and flavor choice.
Fluoride can also be consumed systematically, meaning it can be a part of your everyday diet. The most common way we consume fluoride is through our water sources, but other ways are through different foods and supplements.
When fluoride is used both topically and systemically, teeth become stronger, less sensitive, and less susceptible to cavities. As Dr. Barotz often says, “fluoride is the best insurance for your teeth!”
With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder the American Dental Association and dentists across the country are constantly promoting the benefits of our trusted dental ally – fluoride!