Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in most water sources. The most important role of fluoride in regards to your health is its ability to protect enamel and prevent cavities.
Before teeth even erupt from the gums, fluoride from food and supplements is working to strengthen the enamel layer so that emerging teeth will be strong and ready to use. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild weakened enamel—a process known as remineralization. When you eat or drink food that contains fluoride, a small portion of fluoride remains in your saliva, constantly bathing your enamel.
The best way to take in more fluoride is to drink fluoridated water. The Centers for Disease Control found that people who regularly consume fluoridated water reduce their risk of tooth decay by at least 25 percent. However, some filtration systems remove fluoride before it reaches your tap, so you may have to purchase fluoridated water. Another possibility is fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash that bear the ADA Seal of Acceptance. You may also receive a fluoride application by your dentist or a prescription for fluoride supplements (prescribed for children age six months to 16 years).
If you live in a fluoride-scarce area and/or wish to know which method of fluoride consumption is best for you, contact Dr. Norman B. Fine at 864-299-5900. At Fine Periodontics (located in Greenville, South Carolina), we do everything we can to help you achieve your best dental health.