Effects of Fluoride on the Teeth

Effects of Fluoride on the TeethFew people consider their tap water as being a weapon in the fight against cavities, but for as many as 67 percent of the United States population, it can be. That is because the communities in which they live add fluoride to their public water supplies. Fluoridated water is estimated to reduce the incidence of cavities by as much as 25 percent.

Fluoride, a mineral that also occurs naturally in some water supplies, may prevent cavities in two ways. First it helps by interfering with the bacteria that cause plaque; it is believed their acid production is slowed or stopped entirely. Secondly, it helps to re-mineralize the enamel of the teeth, making them stronger and less vulnerable to decay.

Although fluoridated water can help reduce the risk of cavities, it works best when combined with good dental hygiene practices. Twice-daily tooth brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and daily flossing help physically remove the plaque and bacteria that cause decay.

For some people, fluoride supplementation can be beneficial. Those who are at high risk of cavities, gum disease, who smoke or suffer from dry mouth, or who have diabetes may benefit from additional supplementation in the form of fluoride mouth rinses or professional fluoride varnishes. Those who live in areas without fluoridated water or who drink bottled water may also find supplementation to be beneficial.

If you have concerns about whether or not your fluoride intake is adequate for your dental health, our Northridge dentist can help you determine your best course of action, as well as monitor for early signs of tooth decay.

Source: Cosmetic Dentist Northridge

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