You may have heard the word fluoride mentioned by your dentist, toothpaste ads and various water companies’ reps – but what is it and why do you need more of it?
In a nutshell, fluoride is one of the substances your teeth are made of. Specifically, fluoride is a hard mineral that teams up with other nutrients, like calcium, to make the extremely durable micro-crystals that your enamel is made of.
Over time, these crystals are lost due to hot and cold temperature, chewing and other natural processes. For these crystals to get replaced and your enamel to remain healthy and white, you need to get a healthy mix of minerals – especially calcium and fluoride.
With calcium, you’ve got no reason to worry. So many foods are fortified with it that virtually nobody is short on the mineral today – at least in the United States. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for fluoride which is often lacking in modern diets. As a result, many people – especially children, with their growing teeth – experience discoloration, tooth decay and fractured enamel due to a fluoride deficiency.
What Can You Do to Get Enough Fluoride?
The first thing you should do is check whether the water you drink is reinforced with fluoride. If it is, you’re in considerably less risk than if you get no fluoride supplementation. If it isn’t, you may want to consider getting a supplement or professional fluoride application performed by a dentist.
Supplements are effective, but there are two things to keep in mind. First, don’t leave them around kids; fluoride can be highly toxic in large amounts. Second, if you’re fluoride deficient today, it can take days and weeks for you to feel the difference. This is time you can’t afford to waste if you’re literally seeing your teeth decay and gray by the day – so if you’re worried, consider coming in for an evaluation.
Fluoride Applications and Their Advantages
As we said above, an individual getting enough fluoride from their diet may never need a dentist’s help in this particular matter. Unfortunately, folks tend to not get enough fluoride – especially kids. This means that we often realize the nutrient is needed urgently.
When this happens, fluoride applications are your best choice. For starters, the fluoride solution used in dental clinics is highly bioavailable, meaning it goes straight into your teeth, “feeding” the crystals that make your teeth white, strong and healthy. Second, an experienced dentist knows exactly how much of the solution you need, meaning there’s no risk of you getting too much or too little of the mineral.
To learn more about our fluoride treatments, simply call us at (480) 830-5100. We’ll be happy to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Rogers.