You have heard fluoride is in tap water, and almost all the adult toothpaste you see mention fluoride. Some children’s toothpaste also contains fluoride. It has been deemed safe to use fluoride on children’s teeth as soon as the first one appears, but a child under six may be prone to swallow toothpaste, so not all products made for children contain the fluoride. At Lovett Dental Baytown, we know that there are benefits of fluoride that make it something that is now considered necessary. Fluoride is a natural substance present in numerous foods, such as oatmeal, grapes, and asparagus. It is also present in rocks and soil. However, the amounts are small, and it isn’t always possible to get enough of it to experience the benefits of fluoride treatments.
In Juneau, Alaska, a study was done to see what would happen if the city removed the added fluoride in their drinking water. Within five years, they discovered that the number of dental visits increased, and the amount of money spent on each visit was higher. The most surprising finding was how many visits by children under the age of seven increased. What appeared to be happening was that the children’s teeth were growing in with a weaker enamel from the start.
Benefits of Fluoride
One of the biggest benefits of fluoride is that it works with your body to help create a harder coating of enamel on your teeth. This gives them extra protection from the start. Over time, teeth cleaning can begin to weaken the enamel, especially if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush. Fluoride will help renew the strength of early damage to the enamel. It can’t do miracles and fix actual tears or holes in the surface, but it could help lengthen the time it takes for your teeth to get to that point. Stronger teeth mean fewer dental problems, which saves both health and money.
How to Get Enough Fluoride
The amount of fluoride in food isn’t enough for you to see the full benefits of fluoride, but there are several other ways you can get the fluoride you need:
- Drinking tap water is an excellent source of fluoride. Most city water systems have fluoride added to them to help. Some people prefer bottled water, but this makes it necessary to find other sources.
- For younger kids, there are fluoride supplements that can be taken to help teeth. These are chewed up and, mixed with natural saliva, help coat your children’s teeth, and add protection. Before water was added to the drinking water, it wasn’t unusual for schools to have a fluoride pill treatment program. If needed, a doctor can give you a fluoride prescription but will normally limit it to individuals under sixteen years of age.
- Most kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride, and brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time helps coat your teeth. Fluoride can also be found in some mouthwashes and rinses.
- Your general dentist can treat your teeth with a coating of fluoride. These come in the form of a gel, foam, or rinse.
Lovett Dental Baytown
Here at Lovett Dental Baytown in Texas, we try to make everyone aware of fluoride benefits. When you contact us at 281-838-8400 for teeth cleaning, ask about whether or not a fluoride treatment might benefit you or your loved ones. Call us today to arrange a teeth cleaning and exam. Your dental health is our top priority. With the regular addition of optimal fluoride amounts, we will see you less often, but your visits will be much more pleasant. We like seeing clients who enjoy their visit.