Fluoride: Your Teeth’s Best Defense Against Decay

Powell dentist

As a Powell dentist, our team at Frontier Family Dental understands the importance of a healthy, great looking smile. Healthy teeth and gums not only provides us confidence in how we look and feel, but they also help to keep the rest of our body healthy by lowering our risk for inflammation and disease.

One of the biggest and most important tools Dr. Williams has to help keep patients’ teeth resilient and strong is fluoride.

For over 70 years, the majority of public water in the U.S. has contained small amounts of fluoride to help reduce tooth decay. The addition of fluoride to the public water has help to reduce tooth decay by about 25 percent nationwide, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fluoride treatments patients receive while visiting the dentist may provide even more significant benefits to strengthen tooth enamel.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits fluoride and fluoride treatments can offer patients.

What Can Fluoride Do for Your Teeth?

The application of fluoride, whether in the toothpaste we use to brush or treatments you receive from your Powell dentist, can benefit your teeth in a variety of ways that include:

  • Fluoride better enables the body to use minerals like phosphate and calcium. Our teeth can reabsorb these minerals to repair enamel damaged by tooth decay.
  • Fluoride bonds with tooth structures during our oral health development as kids. This bonding process makes teeth less vulnerable to the effects of cavities and harmful oral bacteria for a lifetime.
  • Fluoride also works to reduce and even reverse the development of cavities by destroying plaque buildup on our teeth. Plaque, a sticky biofilm, is a primary cause of tooth decay.

By brushing daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and by receiving regular fluoride treatments as part of visiting your Powell dentist, patients can enjoy benefits that may help to:

  • Lower their cavity risk
  • Slow the development of cavities
  • Delay the need for expensive dental work to repair the damage caused by tooth decay
  • Reduce the amount of time a patient spends at the dentist

Since cavity development is linked to the growth of harmful oral bacteria, fluoride use can also:

  • Lower your risk for gum disease
  • Reduce pain and discomfort caused by cavities and tooth sensitivity
  • Reduce the risk for premature tooth loss

Fluoride Treatments Can Improve Overall Health

As we’ve mentioned before in our blog, a connection exists between our oral and overall health. Patients who deal with tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic illnesses that include everything from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and dementia.

Recommended Fluoride Treatments

Both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association recommend that daily exposure to a small amount of fluoride offers the best option for reducing cavity for patients of all ages.

For most patients, that simply means drinking the tap water that comes out of their faucet at home. For those living in communities without a fluoridated water supply, brushing at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride offers the best option.

For babies and young toddlers, it’s important that parents limit fluoride exposure to a safe level. Over exposure to fluoride during a young age can lead to the permanent staining of adult teeth. However, this is extremely rare and unlikely to occur when a child’s oral health development is overseen by a dentist like Dr. Williams.

If you have any questions about the benefits of fluoride or what fluoride treatments can mean for your oral health, please feel free to ask Dr. Williams during your next visit to Frontier Family Dental.