Why is Fluoride Good for Your Teeth?

Why is Fluoride Good for Your Teeth?

Temps de lecture : 3 min

Have you ever wondered about fluoride and its impact on your oral health? Why do dentists recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste? Did you know that in Canada, fluoride is present in drinking water, soil, and air? Continue reading to discover more about this natural compound and its effects on your teeth and oral health.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soils, both fresh and saltwater, and various foods. In Canada, fluoride is present in most public drinking water.

What are the Benefits of Fluoride?

What are the Benefits of Fluoride?

In a nutshell, fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, strengthens tooth enamel, reduces acidity in the mouth, and replenishes minerals that make teeth stronger.

In the 1930s, researchers observed that individuals who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had fewer cavities than those who did not consume fluoridated water. Since the 1940s, the World Health Organization, among other organizations, has endorsed the use of fluoride in public water supplies.

How Does Fluoride Work?

In essence, fluoride has a positive impact on your oral health by reducing cavities and making teeth more resistant to decay. This happens for the following reasons:

  • Fluoride helps harden baby teeth before they erupt.
  • Fluoride also aids in hardening adult teeth that have already erupted.

Additionally, fluoride helps reduce the natural acidity in your mouth. For instance, after eating,

saliva contains acids that can dissolve calcium and phosphorus beneath the surface of your teeth, a process known as demineralization. However, when saliva is less acidic, it can have the opposite effect, aiding in the replenishment of these two minerals that maintain the hardness of your teeth, known as remineralization.

Where is Fluoride Found?

For many Canadians, fluoride is present in our public drinking water. In fact, fluoride is sometimes added to public drinking water to protect the entire community from tooth decay. The optimal amount of fluoride in drinking water is one part per million. However, if your drinking water lacks sufficient fluoride, your dentist may recommend professional fluoride products such as varnishes and gels.

Fluoridated Toothpaste and Other Products

Fluoridated Toothpaste and Other Products

In communities where drinking water lacks sufficient fluoride, your dentist may recommend obtaining fluoride from other sources. The most common source is fluoridated toothpaste. For children under 3 years old, the amount of toothpaste should be the size of a rice grain. For children aged 3 to 6 years, a pea-sized amount is sufficient. However, if a child is at a higher risk of developing cavities, the dentist may recommend fluoride supplements.

What is Dental Fluorosis?

Ingesting an amount of fluoride higher than the optimal quantity during early childhood can lead to dental fluorosis. This condition alters the appearance of teeth, typically presenting as small white spots on the teeth. According to the Canadian Dental Association, this phenomenon is not a cause for concern in the majority of children, and cases of dental fluorosis often go unnoticed by parents. Moreover, no credible link has been established between water fluoridation and adverse health effects.

Fluoride offers various benefits for your teeth and oral health. It helps harden enamel and prevent tooth decay. Generally present in drinking water and various foods, fluoride is an essential mineral for your body. If you are concerned about not consuming enough fluoride, consult your dentist today.

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