Fluoride is a mineral readily needed by the body for your oral health. They are present in both fresh and saltwater. Fluorides help prevent tooth decay and makes our teeth stronger. They also heal tiny cavities that may be forming in our teeth, thereby, ensuring we are always in a state of good oral health.
Due to the vast benefits of fluoride, it is readily available, as even water boards often add recommended levels of fluoride (about 0.7 ppm) to water distributed to the public. Most people also get access to fluoride from their toothpaste as it is a less costly and efficient way to maintain oral health and prevent decay.
The addition of fluoride to water for public use is considered a health achievement of this 20th century by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ways in Which Fluoride Can Get to The Teeth
Fluoride gets to the body either through direct application or bloodstream. When we drink water containing fluorine, it gets to the teeth through 2 ways, I.e., by direct deposition on the tooth or through the bloodstream.
The teeth can get a higher concentration of fluoride from toothpaste and mouthwash in a short period. Pills and drops are excellent alternatives for kids who do not get enough fluoridated water. They can also visit a dental office to have fluoride directly applied to their teeth.
How Much Do You and Your Teeth Need?
The quantity of fluoride needed differs per person, as there are certain factors to be considered such as the type of food you eat, amount of fluorine taken in daily, body biochemistry and your overall oral hygiene.
The likelihood of having tooth decay is low when you stop or take less sugary/acidic foods. Also, when you clean your mouth often, you will block any chances of bad breath due to poor oral hygiene.
Decay-causing bacteria digest sugar and produce acids in the process. These acids are capable of causing the tooth to erode. Regular consumption of sugary substances, therefore, creates a conducive environment for these bacteria to produce these acids.
Also, too much acidic drinks can cause the tooth to decay as those acids go directly to the teeth and erode them. In such cases, fluoride mouthwash can prove beneficial.
High quantity of fluoride, can as well, harm children, as developing teeth tend to absorb large amount of fluoride leading to a permanent stain on the teeth. It could also result in enamel fluorosis (pitted tooth). Therefore, young children should always be
monitored when washing their mouth with toothpaste so that they do not swallow these contents.
Adults who for the better part of their life have been consuming excessive fluoride are prone to a condition known as skeletal fluorosis (tenderness of the bone). They are also more likely to have a bone fracture.
Therefore, do not hesitate to consult with your dentist to get a professional recommendation on fluoride products.