What Does Fluoride Do to the Human Body?

Clear glass with water containing cavity-fighting fluoride being poured into it against a sky blue background

Around 75% of Americans have fluoride in their drinking water. In fact, the fluoridation of drinking water was named one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control. So, what exactly is fluoride, and what’s the big deal?

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride, a natural mineral, works to counteract the effects of acids that cause the demineralization of your teeth, which leads to the loss of tooth enamel. You can think of fluoride like your secret dental superpower — it helps strengthen deposits of calcium and phosphorous on your teeth to protect them!

Why Is Fluoride Important?

In simple terms, fluoride helps prevent cavities. It helps during the remineralization of teeth by strengthening enamel and protecting it against tooth decay. In young children, fluoride helps to harden the enamel of their baby and permanent teeth before they begin to come in. Even better, fluoride has been shown to be safe and effective (in appropriate doses) and is supported by leading organizations, such as the American Dental Association.

How Can I Make Sure I’m Getting Enough Fluoride?

We recommend brushing your teeth with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. The amount of supplemental fluoride you need depends on where you live. Many communities add fluoride to their water supply, ensuring that fluoridated water helps strengthen the teeth of all residents. In areas where communities do not add fluoride to the water supply, you may want to supplement your fluoride intake with fluoride drops or a mouthwash with fluoride.

Consult with Our Expert Dentist, Dr. Bobo!

During your next visit to Oakboro Family Dentistry, ask Dr. Bobo what he recommends. Occasionally, we may recommend additional fluoride intake for patients who experience a high number of cavities or who have very sensitive teeth. Of course, the most effective way to reduce your risk for cavities is to practice a good preventive care routine: brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, floss each day, and visit our office regularly for cleanings and exams. To ask our team any additional questions about the beneficial effects of fluoride on your teeth or to schedule your next visit, contact us today!

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Oakboro Family Dentistry

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