You’ve probably heard the word “fluoride” before. It’s found in a lot of dental products, including many used at our Lynnwood Dentistry. But what is fluoride? Where does it come from, how does it help your teeth, and how do you know if you’re getting enough of it?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral, found throughout the Earth’s crust and dispersed widely across nature. It’s important to your teeth because it reinforces your tooth enamel, keeping agents of tooth decay from penetrating into the more vulnerable reaches within and causing cavities. This enamel is routinely compromised by acids in the food you eat and other similar forces, so a proper application of fluoride is necessary to keep it healthy and strong.
It is for this reason that fluoride is popular in toothpaste, mouthwash, and even some varieties of floss. US cities even took on the practice of fluoridating their drinking water after discovering that cities with naturally fluoridated water had up to two thirds fewer cavities.
If your drinking water is fluoridated, a common fluoride toothpaste is probably all you need to give you your recommended level of fluoride. If you’re in doubt as to whether you live in an area with fluoridated water, try calling your local water district.