Facts About Fluoride

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For decades, Fluoride has been held in high esteem by the dental community. Fluoride is quickly absorbed into the tooth enamel, and increases the strength of the enamel, preventing tooth decay.

In most U.S. and Canadian communities, sodium fluoride is added as a supplement in its water filtration systems. This practice has been known to be safe and useful in fighting cavities.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is an ion of the element fluorine. It is found as a compound with some other element, usually a metal, and is located in plentiful supply throughout natural bodies of water.

Adding fluoride compounds in the water supply means that we all get a healthy dose of fluoride when we drink that water. This is especially helpful for children, as their growing teeth need sufficient amounts of fluoride to protect against tooth decay.

Why Is Fluoride Essential To Teeth?

To understand the importance of Fluoride, we first need to understand tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs because bacteria present in our mouth release an acid when they react with sugar from our food. This acid causes the enamel in our teeth to decay gradually, leaving the teeth exposed to all kinds of pathogens. Fluoride is absorbed by teeth and forms a protective layer with the enamel, preventing pathogens from gaining access to our teeth. This process is called remineralization and uses fluoride to repair the damage to the enamel.

How Do I Get Fluoride?

Drinking municipal water will provide many a dose of fluoride for your system. Health professionals have endorsed taking additional fluoride for those with weak teeth. Some specific dietary products contain fluoride, as do many kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses. Some beverages like sparkling water or tea may even contain fluoride. Alternately, dental varnishes and gels containing fluoride may also be applied to the teeth, significantly increasing the uptake of fluoride.

Fluoride Safety

It is usually discouraged to swallow toothpaste, rinses or other products that contain topical fluoride. In rare cases, some people may be overexposed to high amounts of fluoride during teeth formation. This condition is called fluorosis, and although not  considered to be dangerous, fluorosis can leave white or dark stains within the tooth enamel.

If you have any questions about fluoride and your dental health, contact us at Centre Dentaire Saint-Lambert! We are your family dentist in Saint-Lambert!

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