Importance of Fluoride for Oral Health
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a common word when discussing your mouth health with your dentist at your appointment. We know that it is good for your teeth, but what exactly is it? Why do we need it and where do we get it? Questions about fluoride are always asked, and we at Starlight Smiles Pediatric Dentistry want to provide some answers for you.
Fluoride is a chemical that exists both in nature and your teeth and bones, and it helps to form the enamel on your teeth. Your teeth go through two processes every single day, called demineralization and remineralization. In both of these two processes, fluoride is a key part of them. Demineralization is when your teeth get damaged by sugar and bacteria, and enamel is stripped away from them.
Remineralization is when the enamel is strengthened by food and water and the fluoride within. This cycle goes on endlessly inside your mouth and having healthy levels of fluoride can prevent tooth decay and other problems that can get costly.
In some cases, you can find fluoride in your local water supply, but it is often found in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Having too much fluoride is never a problem, and it can actually be helpful if you suffer from several cavities in your mouth.
Fluoride is one of the best defenses that your teeth and your enamel have against the natural bacteria and sugars that seek to cause cavities and tooth decay. You should be exposing your teeth to fluoride-based cleaners every single day, and it will help prevent the decay of your natural enamel and your teeth the more often you use it.
One of the ways you are most commonly exposed to fluoride is when you are in the dentist’s chair at our offices. After brushing your teeth, our dentists will gently apply the fluoride to help strengthen your teeth.
We provide these treatments because they contain far more fluoride than you could ever have naturally, and it is a real benefit to the health of your teeth. Then you let the fluoride mixture rest on your teeth, until it absorbs.
Most fluoride treatments are included with your dentist appointment, and it is another reason why you should always come to our checkups. Especially if you are at high risk for cavities or show signs of tooth decay.
Side Effects of Fluoride
With all the fluoride in the world, it is good to understand that too much fluoride typically causes only one side effect. If your teeth are exposed to too much fluoride, then you can have noticeable white specks appear on your teeth. These spots are typically harmless, and you can get rid of them by reducing your fluoride intake.
Overexposure to fluoride is very rare and is not something that most people have to worry about. However, in very rare cases, overexposure to fluoride can cause problems with your bone structure and bone density. If you need a fluoride treatment, then please come to Starlight Smiles Pediatric Dentistry or call 571-833-1440 to work with our dentists and get your teeth treated!