Have you ever wondered why dentists recommend fluoride for improved dental health? The benefits of brushing and flossing your teeth every day, as well as the necessity of regular dental exams and cleanings, are pretty well-known. However, not many people understand how an almost-obscure mineral can be so important to a good oral hygiene routine. To explain, Dr. Ryan Hussong explores how fluoride interacts with your teeth’s natural defenses to boost their protection against destructive tooth decay.
What the Mineral Does
The enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth is comprised almost entirely of minerals (mainly calcium and phosphate). Though enamel is the strongest substance your body produces, it requires a steady supply of minerals from your teeth to remain intact. When oral bacteria consume sugar and other carbohydrates, they convert them into acid, which saps minerals from your teeth and weakens your enamel. As a mineral itself, fluoride can bond to your enamel’s surface, strengthening it against acid attacks and minimizing your risk of developing tooth decay.
Where Fluoride Is Most Useful
Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine, and is found naturally in soil, water, and some foods. Since the mid-1900s, fluoride has been added to municipal water supplies in cities across the U.S. for its benefits to dental health, and is now a major ingredient in most major toothpaste brands. For patients who are at special risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay, Dr. Hussong may recommend fluoride treatments at our Polk City dental office.
About Your Polk City Dentist:
Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. Whether your smile is in the grips of a dental disease, or you simply want to learn more about protecting your family’s smiles, Dr. Hussong has the experience to help you protect, preserve, and restore your oral health. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental office today at (515) 984-6001.