Fluoride — Defender of Your Teeth
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Fluoride. In these days of people spreading loads of hooey over social media and bogus websites, you can find all kinds of information detailing the horrors of fluoride. When it was originally being introduced into U.S. drinking water supplies in the late 1940s to fight tooth decay, certain people said it was a communist conspiracy to brainwash the American public. Today, people rant about the dangers of fluoride poisoning.
The reality is, without fluoridated water, toothpastes, and topical treatments, the odds of a child (and many adults) getting cavities skyrockets. That’s why we haven’t boarded the whacky conspiracy theory train at Cosmetic Dentistry Center, and why we offer topical fluoride applications, especially for our younger patients.
Here’s some info on this ubiquitous dental mineral.
How fluoride protects your teeth
You could say your mouth is like a mine in the Deadwood, North Dakota. All through every day minerals are coming and going. Demineralization and remineralization — those are the two processes where minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.
Another thing the anti-fluoride groups don’t understand (or choose to forget to tell people about) is that fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, like it or not. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.
When is fluoride the most beneficial?
It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth. If you doubt that, look for the initial research done in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945. The change in tooth decay in children was amazing after the introduction of fluoride.
Fluoride treatments at Cosmetic Dentistry
So, now you know that fluoride is one of your mouth’s best friends. We provide fluoride treatments at Cosmetic Dentistry Center to give our patients a more concentrated occasional fluoride application. We apply fluoride varnish topically at each appointment of our younger patients. Call us at (617) 965-7673 and set up your appointment.
Posted in: Fluoride