patient getting a fluoride treatment at the dentist

What Is Fluoride & Do You Need It?

May 24, 2022 8:31 pm | Published by

At our office, we’re proud to provide preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and more. Preventative dentistry includes services like cleanings, exams, and fluoride treatments. What is fluoride? Does everyone need it?

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical ion of “fluorine,” which is one of the top 20 most common elements found in the earth’s crust. An ion is an atom that has either a positive or negative charge. When fluorine has a negative charge and comes into contact with an ion that has a positive charge (like calcium), you end up with fluoride! Fluoride is found in rocks, soil, and many water sources. It’s also added to community water systems, toothpaste, and mouthwash.

How Does Fluoride Protect Your Teeth?

Enamel, your tooth’s hard outer layer, contains calcium and phosphate. When you eat foods with carbs, bacteria in your mouth produce acid that strips calcium and phosphate from your teeth. This increases your risk for tooth decay. Luckily, your body fights back. Your saliva helps add calcium and phosphate back to your enamel. When fluoride joins in, your teeth are strengthened even more! Fluoride can even reverse very early tooth decay.

Who Needs Fluoride?

Because they have an increased risk for cavities, fluoride is important for kids. That said, fluoride can strengthen anyone’s teeth, especially those with a history of tooth decay. Most people get enough fluoride from their tap water, toothpaste, or mouthwash, but a treatment at the dentist may be a good idea.

Preventative Dentistry at Vista Ridge Family Dentistry in Cedar Park, Texas

Fluoride treatments are a safe, affordable, and effective way to prevent tooth decay. Not everyone needs extra fluoride, but if you have a higher cavity risk for any reason, our dentists can help! Please contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment.

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