Fluoride and Dental Care

Basic Oral Care

Fluoride is very important for the health of our teeth. While some already get a bit of fluoride in their water supply, others need to make sure they get enough of it through other means such as toothpastes or supplements. If there is a deficiency, it could potentially lead to severe tooth or gum diseases. Below we have collected all the important details you need to know about why fluoride is essential for your teeth.

Fluoride 101

Our teeth have a cover that makes sure that they do not get eroded away or chipped too easily. This coating is formed from minerals like calcium, fluoride and phosphate. They form a layer of enamel over the teeth ensuring that food does not allow bacteria to form on or in between the teeth. All these minerals have varying properties and are of equal importance.

Fluoride makes the teeth strong enough to withstand the attack of acid and plaque formation. Another function of fluoride is to get absorbed into the process of teeth formation, so that the teeth are resilient enough to not let acid erode them away. But this only happens before the age of 6, which is why it is a requirement among children.

The Right Time for Fluoride Consumption

Even though fluoride is needed all your life for the resilience of your teeth, the years when it is most valuable are from 6 months to 16 years. This is because during these years, children are going through the process of teeth formation and development.

Recent studies have depicted that fluoride is needed among adults too, as it helps keep tooth decay at bay. Certain medical conditions could also require the need for extra fluoride. These include:

  • Xerostomia: Also known as the dry mouth condition, it occurs due to diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, radiation in areas of the head and neck as well as use of medication for ailments like high blood pressure, anxiety and allergies. All these problems can lead to early tooth decay, and fluoride can be very helpful to fight it off.
  • Gum disease: Gingivitis or gum disease cause bacteria to attack your teeth as well as the teeth root, which is why the process of tooth decay is rapid.
  • Crowns, bridges, braces: The presence of one or the other can lead to tooth decay which is why you need to have a high amount of fluoride in your daily diet or usage.

Where to Get Fluoride?

In most US states, fluoride is added to the water supplies, which means that you don’t need to get extra supplements. But if you have some kind of diseases or if fluoride is not a part of your water supply, then you will need to make sure that you and your family get adequate amount from elsewhere. So how can you replenish your fluoride needs?

Fluoride is available in supplement forms, as well as in many dental products like toothpastes, mouthwashes, etc. If you need high dosage you can meet with your dentist and get a prescription for something stronger. If not, get toothpaste that has fluoride added to it.

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