June 16, 2019
There seems to be a national confusion on whether fluoride is helping or harming us. As any dental expert would tell you, fluoride plays an important role in protecting teeth from decay, especially for children. However, it’s still important to understand how the substance works. In this post, your children’s dentist in Birmingham will explain what fluoride is and how exactly it benefits your child’s teeth.
What is Fluoride and Where Is It?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found throughout nature, including the earth’s crust. It occurs naturally in all water sources, including our oceans.
In the 1930s, researchers discovered that people who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had up to two-thirds fewer cavities than those without fluoridated water. Because of this, many American water supplies contain fluoride. The American Dental Association, American Medical Association and World Health Organization all endorse the use of fluoride in water for its effect on tooth decay.
How Does it Work?
When fluoride reaches your teeth, it is absorbed into the enamel. It replenishes lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your child’s teeth hard. These minerals help strengthen the teeth and prevent further mineral loss. Thus, fluoride helps to both stop tooth decay and prevent future tooth decay.
Fluoride hardens enamel on both baby and adult teeth, even if the latter has not yet emerged.
How Do I Make Sure My Child is Getting Enough?
If your family’s drinking water is already fluoridated, brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste should be enough to keep your smiles healthy. If your water is not fluoridated and does not contain enough natural fluoride, you should ask your dentist if your family should use daily fluoride tablets or drops. Your dentist can tell you how much fluoride is right for you family, so don’t hesitate to contact them.
You can find out if you water from a public supply is fluoridated by contacting your local water district. If your water comes from a private well, you can have it analyzed by an independent testing company.
Fluoride can give your child an extra boost in their oral hygiene routine. To best prevent cavities, make sure your family is using enough of the mineral. Reach out to your dentist today to discuss your fluoride options.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner has always had a passion for helping children. She a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has received the Quest for Excellence Award from the American Association of Dental Schools. When she is outside of the office, she loves spending time with her husband and four children. If you have further questions about your child’s dental health, she can be reached through her website or at 205-870-0892.
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