What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps teeth fight tooth decay. Protecting your teeth from cavities is an involved process that takes real time and effort. You utilize toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash to help prevent any cavities from forming and chances are your toothpaste and mouthwash contains fluoride. But why fluoride is an essential part of keeping your smile healthy?


How Does Fluoride Work?

Acid that forms from bacteria and sugar present in your mouth can weaken and damage your teeth. Fluoride helps to strengthen and protect your teeth by hardening the enamel.Fluoride can also restore minimal damage to your teeth and strengthen the weakened enamel. When you have strong enamel, cavities are much less likely to form, making fluoride a central part of preventing cavities.



Minimum and Maximum Levels

While fluoride can help prevent cavities if you obtain it regularly, it can also have negative effects if you digest too muchFinding a balance in fluoride intake is crucial to the health of your teeth?

 A lack of fluoride can lead to more cavities than you’d warrant even with timely dental visits. Fluoride protects and strengthens your teeth between dental visits.

An excess of fluoride in your diet can cause fluorosis. Fluorosis occurs during tooth development and can result in discoloration of your teeth. Permanent white or brown streaks are a characteristic of fluorosis as well as a development of rough or pitted patches that make keeping teeth clean more difficult. It is critical to avoid over exposure to fluoride between the ages of 1 and 4 because teeth are at their early development stages during this time and are susceptible to fluorosis.

How Do I Get Enough Fluoride?

Generally speaking, if you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and rinse with fluoridated mouthwash you will be getting a sufficient amount of fluoride to help you prevent cavities. For children, the amount of fluoride that is acceptable will differ based on age, weight, and diet. As children are susceptible to fluorosis, it is critical to talk to your dentist about the amount of fluoride that is right for them.



Fluoride in My Water

In 2008, the Louisiana State Legislature passed the Community Water Fluoridation Act, which allowed public water to be infused with fluoride when funding was sufficient. This act was passed in an effort to help improve the dental health of Louisiana’s citizens. The fluoride added to the public water is controlled and monitored to ensure safe levels that are appropriate for citizens. This added fluoride helps supplement your dental care routine and helps supply you with the necessary amount of fluoride needed for the prevention of tooth decay.

Fluoride is a major player in cavity prevention. While some people actively try to avoid it, fluoride actually helps keep your smile healthy. Unless you are allergic to fluoride or it affects you medically, making sure you obtain enough of it can help keep your smile healthy for a longer period of time. Talk to your dentist today if you are concerned about the amount of fluoride you are getting. It can make the difference in your smile.