Fluoride is a term that is often heard associated with dentistry and tooth decay. There is often a lot of talk over what’s known as the “fluoride debate.” Cities have discussed time and time again whether or not fluoridating their water is a good idea. We’re here today to shed some light on this mysterious ion.
Fluoride is naturally found in many minerals and salts all throughout the world, and you’ve likely already had exposure to it today. Some examples of common sources of fluoride intake are raisins, carrots, or black tea. In essence, it isn’t some mysterious substance that we know nothing about. Aside from perhaps an unfamiliar name, fluoride is a constant presence in all our lives.
Why is Fluoride Important?
Fluoride has been medically shown to help in the prevention of cavities, or dental caries. The current consensus in the scientific and medical world is that the fluoridation of water is a safe and effective means of helping to reduce the cavity rate. Fluoride is an important constituent of the minerals that make up tooth enamel, which is the hard outermost layer of your teeth. Being the outermost layer, the enamel is constantly being exposed to the environment and is the front line against chewing any and all food that passes through your mouth. As such, it wears easily and is a target for hungry bacteria, which makes its home by forming plaques on your teeth, causing your enamel to wear faster. Fluoride can help with the remineralization process, restoring your tooth enamel and therefore preventing further tooth decay. Aside from fluoridated water, fluoride can be administered using mouthwash or toothpaste. You likely have a toothpaste that contains fluoride at home, and may have also been given a fluoride rinse or foam at your last visit to the dentist.
What’s the Problem Then?
While the benefits that fluoride has on teeth are generally agreed upon, the ingestion of fluoridated water into your body is often under hot debate in city councils. It is important to remember that too much of a good thing will always result in complications, and fluoride is no exemption. Obviously you don’t want your child to be swallowing toothpaste! However, the amount of fluoride present in a city water supply is negligible and is there to help keep your teeth healthy. Centennial Smiles is happy to address any concerns you may have. Reach us at 587-353-5060.