How Fluoride Promotes Good Dental Health

woman with white teeth - fluoride and dental health

How Fluoride Promotes Good Dental Health

Your tooth enamel is made up of several different minerals, and one of the most important ones is fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral strengthens your tooth enamel, fights off acid attacks, and helps prevent cavities. If you’re wondering why most toothpaste has fluoride in it, or why some cities add fluoride to their tap water, we explain more below.

Why Is Fluoride Good for Your Teeth? 

One of the ways that fluoride improves dental health is by reducing the amount of acids that the bacteria in your mouth create. Not only do those acids erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities, they also irritate and inflame your gum tissue. By reducing the acid levels in your mouth, fluoride helps slow enamel erosion and prevent tooth decay. 

While you can still take good care of your teeth without it, fluoride gives you a much better chance of keeping your teeth healthy for longer. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, and indulging in a glass of tap water every now and then are some of the ways to get more fluoride into your daily dental care routine.

But Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

Yes, fluoride is safe for kids, too—just make sure they don’t swallow it. Ingesting too much can cause white spots known as fluorosis on their teeth. But as long as they spit out their toothpaste, fluoride can help keep kids’ teeth cavity-free. 

We know that getting children to brush their teeth can be difficult, so fluoride treatments are recommended to help kids build strong enamel. Fluoride treatments make it easier to remove plaque with brushing, because their teeth develop smaller grooves, leaving fewer places for plaque to build up. 

Fluoride Is a Naturally-Occurring, Dental Health Superstar

Fluoride is one of the most abundant elements in the world. It can be found everywhere, in the ground and in our waterways. Groundwater, freshwater, and saltwater all have naturally occurring fluoride. And because of its abundance in water, it can also be found in the foods we eat and in the beverages we drink. 

However, only some parts of the world have enough fluoride in the water to aid with dental health. While some countries add fluoride to their salt or milk, in the U.S., fluoride is often added to city tap water to bring the levels high enough to help with dental health. Adding fluoride to drinking water can reduce the risk of dental health problems by 25%, according to the CDC

But I’ve Heard It Can Be Dangerous… 

You would have to consume a very large amount of fluoride in order for it to be dangerous. The amounts of fluoride added to municipal drinking water and to toothpaste or mouthwash are not enough to harm you. If you are worried about the amount of fluoride in your water, reach out to your city. They will be able to tell you exactly how much fluoride your tap water contains. 

Dental Care from Dentists That Care

Caring for your dental health takes more than brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated tap water. Seeing a dentist twice a year is one of the best ways to ensure that your mouth is plaque-free and to get treatment for problems like tooth decay before they get worse. 

At Hicks Dental Group, we provide the best dental care that Prescott has to offer. From checkups and cleanings to fillings and teeth whitening treatments, we are here to help you create the smile of your dreams. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.





Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/4/23). Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash.