There has been a lot of back and forth about fluoride over the years, so we wanted to take a minute to talk about the dental side of this controversy. The fact is that fluoride is found in nature and naturally occurs in everything from fresh water to fruit to dairy products. In fact, one of the reasons that milk is so great for your teeth is the calcium and fluoride it contains!
You probably know that fluoride is also added to many dental products. In fact, most kids get fluoride treatments here at Gladstone Family Dentistry to keep their teeth healthy and strong. This is one of the simplest ways to help protect your child’s teeth from bacterial attacks!
The controversy about fluoride has nothing to do with using it to benefit your teeth at the dentist. The main issue here in Gladstone and other cities that don’t fluoridate water is that people don’t like to add additional elements to their water supply.
So, instead of getting into whether or not water fluoridation is a good or bad idea, let’s talk about how you can access the fluoride your children need to grow strong, healthy teeth!
Beating Back Bacterial Attacks
Before we get into where you can find fluoride both naturally and in dental products, let’s talk about the extraordinary power this mineral has.
Every single day your teeth both lose minerals and add new minerals. The teeth you had yesterday aren’t the same as the teeth you have today!
When you lose minerals, your tooth enamel is more exposed to attacks from acids and sugars. If your teeth remain unprotected, they can build up plaque and leave you susceptible to gingivitis and periodontal issues. That’s why it’s important to add new minerals like calcium, fluoride, and phosphate to your teeth. This is called “remineralization.”
Accessing most minerals is easy. You can take them as vitamins, eat foods that contain them, or even drink water. But, there are a few reasons why we dentists like to use fluoride more than other minerals.
First of all, fluoride actually helps speed up remineralization. It’s like a party planner for all of the other minerals that you want to invite back to your teeth!
Second, fluoride acts as a bouncer by stopping plaque from making nasty acids which are cutting into your tooth enamel.
Finally, your teeth need fluoride – just like it needs other minerals – to build up a healthy enamel layer.
Fluoride is all around us!
You can find fluoride both naturally and artificially from many sources. Here are just a few:
- Foods like pickles, grapes, spinach, tomatoes, beets, eggs, milk, pears, and carrots all contain some fluoride.
- Everyday water has some fluoride in it. Here in Gladstone, we have gone back and forth about adding fluoride to the water, but it’s not currently included in the city water supply. So, when you drink tap water, you’re just getting any natural fluoride levels that already exist in the water.
- Many kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses contain fluoride. Most of these have a very low amount of fluoride – you can only get a toothpaste or rinse with a high level of fluoride if you have a prescription.
- We provide fluoride treatments here at Gladstone Family Dentistry. You’ve probably seen or experienced a fluoride treatment at some point in your life. We basically put foam in a mouth guard and place that guard on the teeth for a few minutes. It’s a great way to remineralize your teeth without you actually consuming fluoride.
Usually, dental fluoride treatment is only done on children to help them grow strong permanent teeth. However, some studies show that fluoride treatment for adults might help them out if they have increased risk of tooth decay.
Do you want to find out more or schedule your next dental appointment? Contact us today! We are here to help you with any and all of your dental needs.