Fluoride – Nature’s Cavity Fighter
One should be active and careful when it comes to oral hygiene. If you love fluoride, the details would be beneficial for you.
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Are you a fan of fluoride? You should be! Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter…and for good reason. It is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
The benefits of fluoride reach both children and adults. Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a systemic benefit. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild or remineralize weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or use other dental products with it in them, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides a topical benefit. Also, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
Fluoride is naturally found in almost all water sources, rivers, lakes, wells, and even oceans. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay.
Community water fluoridation is like drinking milk fortified with Vitamin D or eating bread and cereals enriched with folic acid. Before water fluoridation, children had about three times as many cavities. Because of the important role it has played in the reduction of tooth decay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proclaimed community water fluoridation one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century.
How Exactly Does Fluoride Work?
Cavities are caused by bacteria that live in our mouths. They feed on leftover food they find there, including sugary foods and drinks. When these bacteria consume sugars, they release acids that attack tooth enamel. Over time, damage to this protective outer layer of our teeth sets the stage for tooth decay.
Fluoride helps fight cavities by repairing the damage these acids can do to our teeth. The repair process is called remineralization.
How Fluoride Protects A Child’s Teeth From The Very Start
When infants are born, their baby (primary) teeth are already present in their jaws. Even before teeth break through the gums, they benefit from fluoride in the food and drink a child takes in. These early doses of fluoride strengthen the enamel on baby teeth, making them more resistant to cavities. (This is known as a systemic benefit.)
As a child’s primary teeth come in, fluoride helps rebuild any damage that happens when cavity-causing bacteria release acids in the mouth. This is why it’s important for children to use fluoride toothpaste and drink plenty of tap water, which usually contains fluoride.
Using fluoride toothpaste or getting a special fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office puts fluoride on the surface of a child’s teeth, creating a topical benefit. Also, the fluoride children get from foods and drinks becomes part of their saliva, bathing their teeth in tiny amounts of fluoride that help keep enamel strong and healthy.
How Do We Know Fluoride Is Safe And Effective?
For more than 70 years, the best scientific evidence has shown that adding fluoride to community water supplies is safe and effective. More than 100 health organizations recognize the cavity-fighting benefits of fluoridated water, including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Dental Association.
Studies show that fluoride in water is especially helpful in fighting childhood cavities. In fact, one study revealed that children who live in communities without fluoridated water are three times more likely to end up in the hospital needing dental surgery.
Research also shows that fluoride in local water systems prevents at least 25% of tooth decay in people of all ages. Better dental health helps save money since when more people need treatment for cavities, we all pay in the form of higher insurance premiums and taxes. In fact, the average lifetime cost per person of adding fluoride to local water supplies adds up to less than the cost of a single dental filling.
We hope the content lets you understand about oral health. All the possible ways are explained but never bound yourself. Keep looking for best suggestions for the use of Fluoride.
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