The Importance of Fluoride in Water for Dental Health
If you've ever watched a commercial for dental products, then you've likely heard about fluoride. It seems to be in everything, including toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and dental picks. But why is fluoride so common? Why does it need to be in your daily-use oral products? Does it actually help? And, more importantly, why is fluoride in non-dental items, such as your drinking water?
Believe it or not, fluoride is actually extremely important to the health of your teeth. That's why it's recommended that you drink water and use water for hygiene that includes fluoride. It doesn't occur in most drinking water naturally, but it's added for a reason. If you've ever wondered what that reason is, read on to learn more. Here's why dentists say that fluoride in your water is actually great for your oral health.
The American Dental Association, which oversees the research and recommendations that dentists across the country use as guidelines, strongly suggests that people consume water treated with fluoride. They recommend the use of toothpaste and other products that contain fluoride as well. The best dentist follow these guidelines and recommend products that contain fluoride.
While some people have theories that fluoride has negative effects on the body, these theories are unfounded. And the leading research compares fluoride in drinking water to the addition of vitamins to breakfast cereals or vitamin D to milk. The addition simply gives a widespread health benefit to all who use the product.
Strengthens Your Teeth
Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the world, and research has shown that fluoride in water is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. In fact, the changes have been marked since the introduction of fluoride into the American water supply.
Not only is fluoridation—the addition of fluoride to water—completely safe, it actually helps strengthen teeth against the most common causes of tooth decay. And this difference saves money. In fact, for every $1 spend by municipalities to fluoridate drinking water, each individual saves an average of $38 in dental health costs.
How Fluoride Works
Fluoride is a natural mineral that occurs in the earth's soil. This mineral is safe to digest and passes through the body normally. But the real goal of using fluoride is to help it make contact with the teeth. When fluoride interacts with your teeth, it helps to prevent cavities and other forms of tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel is the protective coating around your teeth, a strong layer that surrounds the softer, more porous, and more vulnerable tissue inside. But certain things are bad for your tooth enamel, including acidic foods. Sugars and carbohydrates feed bacteria in your mouth, and this bacteria creates acids as a form of waste. The more acids touch your tooth enamel, the more it dissipates, and bacteria and other causes of tooth decay can start to attack the vulnerable tissue inside.
Fluoride helps to reverse this process by strengthening tooth enamel and helping to repair areas where enamel has softened or dissipated. When fluoride is in your drinking water, you have more chances to expose your teeth to enamel-strengthening minerals.
The benefits of fluoride in drinking water are particularly helpful for children. That's because children are at higher risk of tooth decay. Children tend to have more sugary and unhealthy diets and are also less likely to practice good oral care. Even children who brush often may not brush correctly, and children are less likely than adults to floss and use mouthwash on a regular basis.
Therefore, they are in particular need of fluoridated drinking water to help strengthen and repair tooth enamel. Dentists recommend fluoridated water for adults and children. However, once tooth decay has started to form, fluoride can't remedy it. You'll need to visit an Alaska dental arts office for treatment. North Pole Dental Workshop is your best resource for family dental care at great prices. Call us to schedule an appointment for the whole family.