The fluoride debate has been ongoing for decades. While many dental professionals boast the benefits, others dispute its safety. Despite these concerns, fluoride remains an essential health component. In fact, 79.6 percent of people served by community water systems receive water containing the optimum level of fluoride needed to prevent tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At Hancock Village Dental, we understand the importance of fluoride for a healthy smile. That is why our Clermont dentist recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and water. It is also why we offer fluoride treatments in our Clermont family dentistry practice. To better understand what fluoride does for teeth and overall oral health, read on.
Why Do We Need It?
Fluoride offers benefits to both children and adults. Even before teeth emerge from the gums, fluoride from food, beverages, and dietary supplements help make tooth enamel stronger. Once teeth have erupted, fluoride aids in the remineralization process to strengthen enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. As your teeth are always under attack by acid-producing bacteria in the mouth, fluoride is needed to rebuild tooth enamel and keep tooth decay at bay.
As a natural mineral compound found in the environment, it is present in many of the foods we eat. You will find small amounts of it in foods like grapes, oatmeal, asparagus, and seafood. It’s also produced in the body naturally in the form of calcium fluoride. This nutrient is essential for building strong teeth and bones.
When fluoride combines with your saliva, it creates a fluoride bath in your mouth that helps coat teeth and provide continuous protection against harmful acids. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can help strengthen your oral defense system against harmful bacteria and acids that weaken your teeth. As it is difficult to get enough fluoride from your diet alone, it is important to drink water containing fluoride if available in your area.
Water with fluoride has been researched extensively and used for many decades. The CDC named the fluoridation of water one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements” of the 20th century. Drinking water containing fluoride has been proven both safe and effective in preventing tooth decay in people of all ages.
Why Is It In Our Drinking Water?
Water fluoridation is nothing new. In fact, research for fluorine and its effect on dental caries began in 1901, with water fluorination officially starting in Grand Rapids in 1945. And while you can find fluoride in most counties and states all over the United States today, it wasn’t an overnight epidemic when the idea was first proposed. However, the CDC states that fluoridated water reduced tooth decay among children and adults by 25% since being introduced to the public.
Fewer cavities in adults and children mean fewer visits to the dentist for fillings, tooth extractions, and the need for root canals in the future. While fluoridated water is not a federal regulation, the decision comes down to states and local communities. Most people are content with fluoridated water, as they don’t seem to get too much of it naturally from the foods they eat. Combined with a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash, many dentists say this is the easiest method in fighting tooth decay.
There are some experts who state that fluoride or too much fluoride is bad for one’s health. While this could be true if taken excessively, the amount of fluoride present in the water is not enough to do any harm to you or your loved one’s teeth. On the contrary, fluoride prevents dental cavities by decreasing demineralization, enhancing remineralization, and inhibiting bacterial activity.
The substantial benefits that it provides in the fight against tooth decay is far superior. At Hancock Village Dental, we are dedicated to educating our patients on proper oral health. Reach out to our dentist in Clermont today to learn more about the benefits of fluoride or to schedule an appointment with our Clermont dentist!