Fluoride Facts

Fluoride Facts

What is fluoride?  Fluoride is a naturally occuring mineral found in all water sources including the ocean. Fluorine, the element from which the fluoride ion comes from, is the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Fluoride is a safe and inexpensive method to fight tooth decay!

So why is fluoride good for the teeth? Fluoride is the most effective means of preventing decay. It will also reverse decay in the early stage. Studies show that optimal amounts of fluoride has reduced decay up to 60% in baby teeth and up to 35% in adult teeth.

How does fluoride work?  Fluoride works in a couple of ways:

It makes tooth structure stronger, making teeth more resistant to acid  which forms when bacterial plaque breaks down sugar and carbohydrates in the diet. By remineralizing the weak areas, fluoride acts to repair areas that have begun to breakdown from acid

How is fluoride obtained?  Fluoride is obtained both topically and systemically. One topical method of obtaining fluoride is by using a fluoridated toothpaste. Another is by receiving a topical fluoride application at your dentist’s office. Fluoride is obtained systemically by fluoridation of your local water supply. If your water is not optimally fluoridated, your physician or dentist may recommend fluoride supplements.

If fluoride is present in all water sources, why must fluoride be added to community water sources?  Community water fluoridation is simply adjusting the fluoride content in  water sources lacking sufficient fluoride that will optimally benefit teeth.  The process of community water fluoridation has been around for the last 50 years. The American Dental Association recommends the level of fluoride for safe, optimal benefits be .7 to 1.2 parts per million. If your local water source is not fluoridated, your dentist or physician may recommend fluoride supplements.

Please check out the following links for further information:

American Dental Association Information on Fluoride National Center for Fluoride Policy and Research