Fluoride is a mineral that can harden tooth enamel and prevent cavities. It is an important part of overall dental health. Certain parts of your daily routine contribute to your fluoride intake, and dentists often supplement you with fluoride treatments during cleanings.
Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride occurs naturally in certain foods and can be found in natural water sources like rivers and lakes. The tap water in your sink has trace amounts of fluoride manually added by your municipality. Some health professionals recommend between 1.5 to 4 mg/L of fluoride per day, but it can be difficult to reach that mark without taking supplements or changing your lifestyle habits.
Fluoride in Your Toothpaste
Fluoride is a near-universal ingredient in toothpaste. Brushing your teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride absorbs the mineral into the teeth. Strong tooth enamel is vital for your long-term dental health, since the outer enamel layer prevents acid and bacteria from building up in the teeth and causing cavities. Fluoride can also end up in your saliva, which creates a healthy mouth environment unsuitable for harmful bacteria.
Dental Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments are often used at the dentist after a scheduled cleaning or checkup. Dentists apply fluoride directly to your teeth to prevent cavities and reinforce the enamel. The fluoride at the dentist’s office is more concentrated than what you would find in your tap water or toothpaste. Getting regular fluoride treatments along with your standard cleaning can maintain your teeth more effectively than brushing alone.
The fluoride at your dentist may be contained in gels, rinses, and foams. These forms can be applied with a swab, brush, or mouthwash. Once your dentist applies the fluoride, they may recommend you avoid eating and drinking for 30 minutes, to make sure your teeth completely absorb the fluoride.
Keith + Associates Dentistry offers free fluoride treatments for first-time patients. If you’re looking for a quality dentist, call 913-384-0044 to schedule a free fluoride treatment along with your first cleaning.