Fluoride Treatment: How It Will Benefit Your Smile
Since fluoride was introduced to communities as a public health measure back in the late 1940s, it has proven to be the greatest cavity fighter we have. Most of us are familiar with fluoride as an additive to our water supply, but ever since we were children, we’ve ingested microscopic amounts of this naturally occurring mineral in food. And there are other fluoride treatments that can be of great benefit to your oral and dental health.
Before we get started on the importance of fluoride and the impact it has on your overall dental health, we’ll address a common myth about fluoride. There are some who believe that fluoride is harmful to your health. Some don’t use it at all because they believe fluoride is a carcinogen that causes osteosarcoma (a rare type of bone cancer) in boys younger than 19.
But studies by the Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada haven’t found a link between water fluoridation and cancer. In fact, another study shows that water fluoridation is effective at reducing levels of tooth decay among children.
So, now that the myth has been debunked about fluoride, let’s discuss how fluoride works and how it helps to prevent cavities. Fluoride helps prevent cavities in two ways:
- It helps harden enamel in infants before their teeth start to grow in.
- It helps harden enamel in adults that have already grown.
- Fluoride is the negative ion of the element fluorine.
- Fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies, just at different levels.
- Found in fresh water, sea water, soil, plants, rocks, many foods, and air.
- The benefits of the right amount of fluoride for teeth have been proven.
- It’s recognized by dental associations worldwide as an important mineral for healthy teeth.
- It helps prevent cavities.
- 99% of the fluoride in the body is stored in the bones and teeth.
- Fluoride is added to toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even floss.
- Fluoride can be taken via supplements (but should only be done so via a medical practitioner’s recommendation – your dentist or your doctor).