Dental Health: The Truth About Fluoride

Fluoride is one of the most important and vital minerals needed for proper oral health, and in particular for the formation of strong enamel. Enamel is the tough outer covering of a tooth. Researchers and dentists refer to it (fluoride) as nature’s cavity fighter as it helps prevent tooth decay by making the teeth’s enamel resistant to sugar acids in the mouth. This mineral occurs naturally in all water sources though in varying concentrations depending on the location. This makes fluoride readily available to our bodies through drinking water.  Fluoride was previously used to prevent tooth cavities in children though later discovered to have an almost similar effect on adults as well.

Our bodies obtain fluoride in two forms: systemic and topical forms. Systemic fluorides come in the form of dietary supplements and dietary water and are ingested to help form the tooth structure. Topical fluorides, on the other hand, can be found in mouth rinses, toothpaste, and fluorides applied by dentists. Although fluoridated drinking water provides both topical and systemic fluorides, dentists also recommend using fluoridated toothpaste to improve its action on teeth.

While some express concern that fluoride is poisoning their body, carcinogenic or the cause of medical diagnoses including autism and Alzheimer’s, to date, no epidemiological studies exist that indicate or demonstrate a link exists. In fact, the AAP now recommends the use of fluoride as early as the first tooth eruption because it has been proven to contribute to a significant reduction in tooth decay.


Benefits of Fluoride for Dental Health

  1. Preserving tooth structure: As mentioned earlier, topical fluoride helps by reducing the enamel’s exposure to sugar acids. It also helps strengthen the enamel thus making it resistant to chipping and tooth decay. This is especially important for chipped teeth that decay much faster hence preventing pulp infection – leading to tooth decay. Although it doesn’t protect the tooth entirely, fluoride reduces decay spread thus preserving the tooth structure.


  1. Preventing tooth decay: Oral Care researchers have also been able to establish that, fluoride does indeed increase re-mineralization process rates, thus reducing the rate of tooth decay by 30 to 60% dependent upon demographic factors.  Brushing your teeth every day with fluoridated toothpaste or just flossing and using fluoridated mouth rinse helps protect your teeth from acids. Research also shows that teeth exposed to fluoride are significantly stronger and more resistant to acid.


  1. Proper formation and development of teeth: Gaps between teeth and malocclusions are some of the leading causes of dental infections and tooth decay. Gaps between teeth make it almost impossible to clean, thus exposing the tooth and gum to sugar acids and plague. Exposure to fluoride, especially in children, facilitates proper formation and development of teeth. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and do not harbor bacteria between crevices as well.  Giving fluoridated water to young ones and adults is therefore a wise move in promoting proper dental health.


  1. Facilitates the fresh formation of enamel crystals: This applies best for chipped, weak, and cracked teeth.  Having fluoride applied promotes the formation of fresh enamel crystals that make teeth stronger.  Visiting a dental clinic for advice on how this should be done, as well as for a recommendation of the best toothpaste to use, is recommended.

Although calcium leads to the formation of a tooth’s structure and bones, fluoride is the secret compound needed to make the bonds stronger. Far from being a dangerous toxin, fluoride, benefits all of us in any way, helping everyone to achieve a healthier, happier and more brilliant smile. If you have questions about the use of fluoride for your family, discuss them with your dental health professional to develop an effective and safe plan of care.

About The Author

Ed Harrison is a national sales director with Pike’s Peak Strategic Group, providing quality and affordable healthcare and dental care to individuals, families and businesses. To learn more about the savings these plans can offer you and make informed healthcare decisions, visit <a href=></a>.