Most people are aware of fluoride but may not understand what it is or how it benefits your oral health. Fluoride is so vital for healthy teeth that it has been added to many dental hygiene products, including toothpaste, mouth rinses, and health drinks.
In the United States and many other parts of the world, tap water is fluoridated to help prevent tooth decay. Our family dentist in Milton, GA can also provide supplemental fluoride applications as necessary during your routine appointments.
How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?
Enamel is the hard outer layer of your tooth that protects it from infection and decay. Fluoride works with your tooth’s enamel in two ways to make your teeth healthier.
Acid builds up on the surface of your teeth, and demineralization occurs and quickly breaks down the enamel. Fluoride contains calcium and phosphates that neutralize the acid and protect the enamel by preventing demineralization.
If your tooth enamel has already been compromised by demineralization, fluoride can still be beneficial for you. Fluoride will gather in the demineralized areas of your teeth.
The calcium and phosphate that protect your enamel also help repair weakened enamel through the process of remineralization. If your enamel has already been weakened to the point of decay, however, fluoride will not be sufficient to repair your tooth—you’ll need to make an appointment to visit your Alpharetta family dentist to have the cavity filled.
Am I Getting Enough Fluoride?
Depending on where you live, you’re probably already receiving a sufficient level of fluoride in your daily diet of food and water. You may also be using dental hygiene products that contain fluoride, especially toothpaste and mouth rinse. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough fluoride, you can talk to your family dentist in Milton, GA about possible in-office fluoride treatments.