Because there is a good deal of misinformation out there, a lot of people have a lot of questions for their Edmonton dental clinic about fluoride. "What is it fluoride anyway," they often ask, "and is it really so important for dental health?"
The Edmonton dentists of the Azarko Dental Group can answer these and some other common questions about fluoride for you.
Q: What is fluoride?
A: Fluoride, an anion of the chemical element fluorine, is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in varying levels in the soil, in the water, and in our food.
Q: Does fluoride benefit dental health?
A: Yes, the use of fluoride has been linked with a decrease in the occurrence of cavities and tooth decay. Not only does fluoride make teeth resistant to decaying, but it has also been found to play a vital role in reversing tooth decay once it has already started.
Q: How does fluoride fight against tooth decay?
A: There isn't just one single property of fluoride which allows it to fight tooth decay, but rather several different simultaneous processes that all contribute to its effectiveness.
Fluoride makes the teeth both more resistance to acid attacks by plaque bacteria, and it reduces the ability of the plaque bacteria to produce acid in the first place. Furthermore, when enamel crystals are laid down over the surface of the teeth, the presence of fluoride contributes to the better quality of these crystals.
Finally, fluoride seems to reduce the depth of grooves and fissures on tooth surfaces, reducing the amount of surface area available for food particles and plaque bacteria to settle on.
Q: Where do I get fluoride?
A: Fluoride is available mainly in fluoridated toothpastes, mouth rinses, and as a topical fluoride application from an Edmonton dental clinic. Fluoride is also added to the public drinking water in Edmonton.
Q: Is fluoride important for both children and adults?
A: Yes, fluoride is important or the development of healthy teeth in childhood, and for continued dental health in adulthood.
Before the age of six, though permanent teeth still lie below the gum line, the presence of fluoride helps these teeth develop strong enamel that will be more resistant to acid attacks when the teeth do erupt. If fluoride doesn't continue to be available, however, then permanent teeth can begin to lose these early benefits.
Have More Questions About Fluoride? Ask an Edmonton Dentist
Do you have any more questions about fluoride that haven't been covered here, or would you like to speak to an Edmonton dentist about fluoride supplements for you or your child?
The Edmonton dentists of the Azarko Dental Group provide dental services for the whole family, and we are here to help. Just contact one of our two Edmonton dental clinics and we'll make sure you get all the answers you need.
14938 Stony Plain Rd.
Edmonton, AB T5P 3X8
969 James MowattTrail SW
Edmonton, AB T6W 1S4