In this FAQs post, our dentists at Country Dental will take a closer look at dental fluoride facts and provide answers to some of the more frequently asked questions we get asked.
Fluoride Facts & FAQs
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil and water that not only helps to build strong bones and teeth but also helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
What foods contain Fluoride?
Low levels of this mineral can be found in many food groups including fresh fruits and vegetables, some seafood, and in dairy products like eggs and milk. Higher levels of fluoride can be found in processed foods and liquids like fruit juices, black tea, wine, coffee, and public drinking water. See our post on the Best Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Teeth & Gums.
Why is Fluoride added to drinking water?
Dentists agree that fluoride is essential for healthy teeth. While natural bodies of water do contain trace amounts of fluoride, it is often added to community drinking water because the cost is quite low, and fluoride is a natural, safe and effective mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
What is Fluoride added to?
In order to fight tooth decay and promote healthy teeth, Fluoride can be found in public drinking water, fluoride toothpaste and in other oral care products such as mouth rinses.
Is Fluoride Necessary?
Every day, plaque bacteria and sugars form acids in your mouth that attack the tooth enamel and minerals are lost (demineralization). However, minerals like fluoride and calcium can also be added to help strengthen your tooth enamel (remineralization) when you eat certain mineral rich foods or brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
Tooth decay occurs when there’s not enough remineralization to counteract the demineralization. Dental fluoride is essential for the healthy development of permanent teeth in young children.
Does Fluoride whiten teeth?
No, it doesn’t whiten teeth, but it does help to protect and strengthen them.
Does Fluoride prevent tooth decay?
Yes, it not only prevents tooth decay but can also help to reverse early tooth decay.
How does Fluoride work?
Dental fluoride penetrates tooth enamel and re-mineralizes your teeth by replenishing the phosphate and calcium that help to harden your tooth enamel. It also mixes with saliva to create a barrier against acids. Some scientists believe that Fluoride also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth, making it easier to wash bacteria away when brushing and rinsing. Studies have shown that children are less likely to develop cavities when they exposed to dental fluoride at an early age.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
When a hygienist or dentist administers an in-office professional fluoride treatment, they use a gel or solution with a high concentration of fluoride, much higher than what is normally found in toothpaste. The fluoride dental treatment takes only a few minutes and is applied directly onto your teeth. You need to avoid food and drink for at least 30 minutes after the application.
Can I do Fluoride Treatment at home?
While you can find some high concentration, over the counter fluoride treatment options for home use, we don’t recommend using them without the supervision of your dentist. Do use a fluoride toothpaste and change your tooth brush every 3 months.
How often can Fluoride Dental Treatments be done?
This is something you should speak with your dentist about since it can vary between patients depending on the risk for cavities and your overall oral health.
Fluoride Facts – Key Takeaways
To strengthen and improve the overall health of your teeth, our dentists recommend the following:
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least 2 times a day
- Always brush for up to 2 minutes at a time (See our Brushing Do’s & Don’ts blog)
- Always brush or rinse your teeth after consuming sugary foods and drinks
- Floss daily to clean hard to reach areas
- Book annual dental visits to have a professional dental cleaning
About Country Dental
Country Dental operates three dental clinic locations in southern Ontario including Cambridge, Fergus and Toronto. Dental fluoride treatment is just one of the tools we use to promote prevention, which we feel is the best way to care for your teeth and oral health.
If you didn’t find the answers you were looking for in our fluoride facts blog, we recommend you also check out this Fluoride FAQs page by the Canadian Dental Association.