What is Fluoride and What Does it Do?
Often times when you’re shopping for some toothpaste at the store you’ll notice a lot of brands advertise fluoride in it. You’ll also notice that cities will disclose fluoride in the water. Dentists will also recommend fluoride treatments for kids at their visits.
So what exactly is fluoride?
It’s a naturally occurring mineral we have in our teeth and bones. You can also find it naturally in things like water, soil, rocks, plants, and in the air.
What’s the big deal about fluoride?
The use of fluoride products are often recommended for the cavity preventing abilities. The mineral helps strengthen the enamel, which is the outer most layer of our teeth, which acts as a shield against cavities. Not only does it protect against decay but that powerful mineral can also help against acid attacks on the teeth that can erode the enamel layer.
Who benefits from fluoride?
Anyone can benefit from the use of fluoride but it is encouraged for children as that is when they are most susceptible to decay. Other groups of people that could benefit from fluoride include: those taking certain medications as it can decrease saliva flow which can increase cavity risk, those getting orthodontic treatment for added protection while there are obstacles in the way of regular brushing and flossing, and those getting radiation treatment as the treatment can cause damage to salivary glands.
The American Dental Association has recognized the use of fluoride on both children and adults as safe and effective so next time you’re at the dentist, ask if you are eligible for a fluoride treatment!