Fluoride is a mineral that is present in water and certain foods. When acids caused by plaque attack your tooth enamel, minerals are lost and the health of your teeth suffers. Fluoride, calcium, and phosphate repair your tooth enamel and help fight tooth decay. Fluoride helps your teeth become more resistant to bacteria and sugars by making it difficult specifically, acids to demineralize the enamel.
Where is fluoride found?
- Water: Community water fluoridation is an inexpensive and effective way for children to acquire the fluoride they need during the phase of life when teeth are developing. The fluoridation of community water has reduced the percentage of tooth decay in the United States by 50 to 60 percent since World War II. Out of the 50 largest cities in the US 43 percent have fluoridated water. Drinking tap water is one of the easiest and most efficient ways for kids to receive sufficient fluoride. After teeth have finished developing, only topical fluoride is helpful.
- Toothpaste: Most toothpastes contain fluoride. Brushing your teeth with toothpaste is very important because the fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel and brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste helps prevent cavities and promote a bacteria-free mouth.
- Mouthwashes: Using mouthwash that contains fluoride after you eat and brush your teeth is very important to your daily oral hygiene routine. Not only does the fluoride mineralize your tooth enamel, but swishing with mouthwash also helps wash away food particles from in between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Removing food particles helps prevent plaque buildup which can lead to cavities.
- Fluoride Supplements: You can get fluoride supplements if you live in area that does not have fluoridated water. Call Dr. Locke for more information on fluoride treatment and your oral health.
When appropriate, Dr. Locke will use a fluoride treatment at your routine dental exam and cleanings.