What Is Fluoride & Why Do I Need It?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in several types of food & water, including coffee, tea, ground water, spinach, oatmeal, raisins, potatoes, and more. While trace amounts of fluoride are found in these foods, there is typically not enough of the mineral present in them to benefit your oral health. In 1945, the United States started adding fluoride to tap water because studies show that fluoridated water prevents tooth decay and loss in children and adults alike. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride, so strictly drinking bottled water can increase your chances for tooth decay! Fluoride is also found in most toothpastes and mouthwashes because the mineral helps strengthen tooth enamel, therefore preventing cavities and decay. If you have any questions about fluoride or would like to learn more about its oral health benefits, please contact Gentle Dental Maine at any of our three locations today!

How Does Fluoride Work?

When people eat sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria in their saliva produces an acid that slowly erodes the enamel on their teeth, causing cavities & decay over time. Fluoride helps neutralize the acid in saliva, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride is also important because it can remineralize your teeth and reverse decay in its earlier stages. Fluoride is an extremely important component of your oral health!

Do Both Children & Adults Need Fluoride?

While fluoride is especially important for children, it is also beneficial for adults. Fluoride is essential for children because they absorb the mineral more efficiently than adults. Children are also more vulnerable to tooth decay than adults, meaning that fluoride’s oral health benefits are especially important for children to have. Fluoride is also important for adults that want to prevent tooth decay, even though cavities & decay are more common in children. You and your children should be drinking fluoridated tap water, brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, and asking your dentist about fluoride treatments at your semi-annual appointments!

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any more questions about fluoride or are looking for a family dentist for your family in the Southern Maine region, Gentle Dental Maine is here for you! With offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, we provide our patients with general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry throughout the region. Contact us today at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!