How Fluoride Affects Your Oral Health

April 2, 2020 Grandville Dental Health Center

fluoride dentist Grandville MIIt’s the little things that can help you protect your oral health. Whether it’s adding daily flossing to your routine or wearing your night guard while you sleep, small changes to our habits can make a big difference. Perhaps the easiest thing we can add to our oral health regimens is fluoride.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even the air. It helps strengthen your teeth to prevent tooth decay.

Every day, your teeth lose minerals. Acids from plaque and from sugary foods strip your teeth’s enamel of their minerals, leaving your teeth more susceptible to decay. When you consume minerals such as fluoride, calcium, or phosphate, your enamel becomes more resistant to acid again.

Fluoride is especially important for children’s oral health. Fluoride is incorporated into the development of adult teeth for children who consume fluoride before the age of 6. Their permanent teeth will end up being more resistant to acid because of their use of fluoride in early childhood.

Does My Toothpaste Have Fluoride in It?

Although fluoride is a key component of your oral hygiene, not all toothpastes contain it. So how can you know for sure if your toothpaste is helping you protect your enamel?

A good rule of thumb is to look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. The ADA will only grant its seal to toothpastes that have fluoride in them.

Beware of brands that market themselves as “natural” toothpastes. Often, they won’t contain fluoride, which makes them less effective at preventing tooth decay than a normal toothpaste. Check the list of ingredients before purchasing any toothpaste to ensure that it contains fluoride.

Does My Water Have Fluoride in It?

Potentially! Many counties in the U.S. take the initiative to add fluoride directly to their water systems. This is a great way to make oral health accessible to everyone.

Grandville’s water system has fluoride in it, but not every water system in Kent County does. To be certain that your water contains fluoride, you can check on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

What Is a Fluoride Treatment?

Our dentists offer fluoride treatments to our patients to help protect their enamel. Professional fluoride treatments have a higher concentration of fluoride than what you’ll find in your toothpaste or water. However, it’s completely safe for patients of every age.

We will apply the fluoride as a gel, foam, or varnish directly to your teeth. All you have to do is not eat or drink for 30 minutes after your appointment, and the fluoride will do the rest.

Other Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Demineralization of the teeth can eventually lead to tooth decay. It’s important to fight tooth decay because the consequences can be severe. Not every instance of decay gets caught at the cavity stage and solved with a filling. If your tooth is too far gone, it may have to be removed and replaced with a dental implant.

Fluoride may be the easiest way to prevent tooth decay, but it’s not the only way. A good oral hygiene routine will incorporate many healthy habits, including:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Flossing daily
  • Getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist every six months

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Our Grandville, MI, dentists can help you adopt and maintain good oral hygiene habits to protect your teeth. If you’re interested in getting a fluoride treatment, call Grandville Dental Health Center today at (616) 531-0360, or contact us online to request an appointment.

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