We all know that fluoride is important for our teeth, especially for kids. And we probably know that fluoride can be found in tap water, in toothpaste, and in some mouthwashes. But do you know what it is and what its benefits are?
Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater and many oceans. The amount currently in your tap water is simply a little more than you’d get naturally. Think of it like how iodine is added to salt.
Prevents Cavities & Decay
Fluoride is a natural mineral that protects teeth from developing cavities. In fact, fluorinated tap water has been so successful in preventing cavities that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held it up as one of “10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Fluorinated water has been endorsed by over 100 health organizations, and it is safe (and necessary) for healthy teeth.
Saves You Money
Fewer cavities translate to less money spent on dental care. That’s good for everyone! Fluorinating the tap water costs less than one dental filling per person. In fact, $1 invested in water with fluoride saves $38 in dental treatment. That’s a huge return! Think of how much more money you’d have to spend on dental care if it weren’t for fluoride.
Strengthens Tooth Enamel
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel in both children and in adults. Every time you drink water with fluoride in it, or use fluorinated toothpaste, you cover your teeth with a tiny bit of protective substance, and this coating will help defend your teeth.
Ways to Get Enough Fluoride
If you’re worried you’re not getting enough fluoride in your daily life, never fear. Here are three easy ways to make sure you’re covered:
- Drink tap water! Most tap water contains fluoride.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride in it.
- Use a fluoride supplement, available by prescription only. This is usually reserved for people who can’t get fluoride in their drinking water.
It’s best to consult with a dental professional before increasing your fluoride intake. If you have questions about fluoride or its impact on your dental health, contact the Palos Heights Family Dentistry team!
Want to schedule your next appointment or ask us about fluoride?Contact Us