How Fluoride Impacts Your Oral Health
The introduction of water fortified with fluoride has had a huge impact on the oral health of our children and adults. It was first introduced as community water fluoridation in 1945.
The ADA (American Dental Association) recognizes fluoride as a safe and effective way in preventing tooth decay for both children and adults. Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter. A mineral that strengthens the outer surface of the teeth to make them more resistant to the acid that triggers tooth decay. Fluoride rebuilds weak enamel and can even reverse early signs of tooth decay. Regular fluoride use is one of the safest, most effective ways to fight and prevent tooth decay. It is considered one of public health’s greatest success stories, improving the health and wellbeing of people in the United States and around the world.
However, with the widespread usage of bottled water, many do not realize that the water they are drinking does not contain optimal levels of fluoride. Installation of home water treatments systems has also become extremely popular. Some types of home water treatment systems (e.g., reverse osmosis and distillation systems) can reduce the fluoride levels in water supplies, potentially decreasing the decay-preventive effects of optimally fluoridated water. Home systems that use carbon/charcoal filtration do not remove fluoride.
Educating patients on how to increase fluoride intake safely is a discussion you can have during your oral health care visit at Dental Associates. This could include having topical fluoride varnish applied professionally during your checkup. Compared to fluoride foams and gels, fluoride varnish is fast drying for patient comfort, allows less restrictions on eating and drinking following application and it cannot be swallowed. The absorption of topical fluoride varnish creates a barrier of protection on your teeth for up to 24 hours. If you have questions about fluoride and its benefits, be sure to ask your dental hygienist or dentist during your next visit.
To answer any more questions, contact the dental professionals at Dental Associates PC.
You will find our clinics at 3700 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines and at 4119 SW 9th St, Des Moines. For additional information call 515-225-6742 or (515) 281-0700.