Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in water and some foods. Our bodies need fluoride to help keep our bones and teeth strong. Fluoride treatments can help you. We’ve known since the 1940s and studies have continued to show that fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. Here’s what happens:
Bacteria in the mouth collects on the surface of the teeth
Acid formed by bacteria and sugar eats away the tooth enamel
Tooth enamel is constantly dissolving and being replaced
Fluoride makes the replacement material that forms enamel stronger, protecting it from acid and bacteria
Although a majority of public water systems are fluoridated, many people today don’t drink tap water. Most bottled water, RO systems and well water on private property is not fluoridated. The naturally occurring levels of fluoride in fruits, vegetables, meat, grain, eggs, milk and fresh water supplies are generally very low. Smile Explorers recommends using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. For children more prone to tooth decay or with other factors that increase the risk of decay, we may suggest giving fluoride treatments as part of your child’s dental care.