As we grow into adulthood, our overall health should become a priority—whether that is physical fitness, a balanced diet, scheduling all the right appointments at all the right times or seeking out the best dental techniques for our teeth. As we improve our health, questions may start to pop up. For instance, the topic of fluoride. As a child, you may have heard the dentist instruct your parents to make sure your toothpaste contained fluoride – or maybe you could taste the fluoride in your tap water. But, what is fluoride and why was it so important for your teeth as a kid? Is it still important now? We’re glad you asked.
The Dental Mineral
Fluoride is not some crazy chemical created in a dark lab somewhere. Fluoride is actually an excellent, naturally occurring mineral called ‘fluorine’. In most tap waters, the majority of fluoride is derived from phosphorite rock. Your teeth naturally have some fluoride already, and this amazing mineral helps protect your enamel from wearing down and prevents cavities and tooth decay.
Not all water contains fluoride, however. In cities where fluoride is low or non-existent in the water supply, dentists will recommend fluoride toothpaste and products more frequently to help protect your teeth.
Too Much of a Good Thing
As with most things in life, you can get too much fluoride. If your city’s water supply is flush with fluoride and you are utilizing a toothpaste that has a high concentration of the mineral, you may notice your teeth starting to become discolored. If you notice a yellowing of your teeth with streaks of white, this may indicate high levels of fluoride. It may be time to consult a dentist!
Good for All
Fluoride does not discriminate. Just as it was important as a child, it is still important to have a healthy level of fluoride as an adult to help protect your enamel. In combination with a healthy dental routine of brushing twice daily for two minutes each time, flossing, and seeing the dentist twice per year – making sure your dental diet contains fluoride should be a priority.
If you are not sure whether your water has fluoride – or whether or not it has too much – or you wonder if you should use fluoride toothpaste, please schedule an appointment with our dental providers at Stetson Hills Dental! Our staff is committed to educating you about dental health and hygiene and would love to care for your teeth. As a perk, new patients can schedule their initial exam, set of x-rays, and cleaning for just $59. We look forward to meeting you soon!