Why Fluoride is Important for Good Dental Health
If you're using Invisalign® braces to improve the appearance of your smile, then you'll want your teeth to be as healthy as they look by the end of your treatment. One of the best ways to ensure good dental health is to make sure that your teeth are getting enough fluoride.
At Clear Smile Dental, an Edmonton dental clinic, we are committed to educating our patients and the public about the importance of fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in varying levels in the water we drink and food we eat every day. There is some misinformation out there about what exactly fluoride does and whether it really is good for the teeth, so let's take a look at the facts.
How Fluoride Builds Strong Teeth
Getting enough fluoride is absolutely vital for children and teens between 6 months and 16 years of age in order to ensure good dental health later on in life. When children ingest small and safe amounts of fluoride, it strengthens their tooth enamel and helps the teeth resist acid attacks from plaque bacteria. The fluoride also enters the bloodstream and gets incorporated into the enamel of developing permanent teeth. Fluoride continues protecting the permanent teeth once they are grown in, which is why it is important for adults to continue exposing their teeth to fluoride as well.
How Fluoride Protects the Teeth
When applied to the outside of the teeth, fluoride aids in an important process known as remineralization. Remineralization helps to repair the damage done to the surface of the teeth by plaque bacteria. Plaque produces acid as a by-product of its metabolism, and this acid dissolves the calcium and phosphate crystals that make up tooth enamel. Not only does fluoride disrupt the ability of plaque to produce acid, it also speeds up the rate at which phosphate and calcium remineralize the tooth enamel.
Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride is found in most of the toothpastes and mouth rinses available on drug store shelves. While some stores also carry products that do not contain fluoride, it is highly recommended that you use fluoridated products in your daily oral care routine. When used as directed, these products are safe and effective.
In Edmonton, fluoride is added to the drinking water as well. It occurs naturally in the North Saskatchewan River at approximate levels of 0.1 parts per million (ppm), and an additional 0.6 ppm is added at Edmonton's water treatment plants to bring fluoride levels up to the Health Canada-approved level of 0.7 ppm.
You can also receive a professional, topical fluoride application from your Edmonton dental clinic during your routine dental checkup. Even if you use fluoridated products and drink fluoridated water, regular fluoride application from a dental professional is highly beneficial for your teeth.
At Clear Smile Dental, we provide our patients with everything they need to maintain good dental health. Whether you are interested in Invisalign® braces or you have some other dental health concerns, we encourage you to contact us at our Edmonton dental clinic today.