While fluoride is a not made in our bodies, it is a naturally occurring mineral found in many places around the world that strengthens our teeth. In the 1930’s, researchers learned that people who drank water that contained fluoride from the area around them had significantly fewer cavities than people in other areas. Since then, fluoride has been added to many municipal water supplies as a preventative measure.
When children ingest fluoride, the mineral concentrates in their teeth and bones, making the enamel on their teeth stronger as it develops. Fluoride benefits adults by strengthening the enamel already present in their teeth. The fluoride present in saliva can help remineralize teeth that have been exposed to the acids in your mouth.
Generally, if your family uses a toothpaste that contains fluoride and lives in an area with fluoridated water, you should be receiving enough. If your children receive too much fluoride before their permanent teeth come in, those teeth could become streaked and spotted – condition known as fluorosis. Fluorosis is a cosmetic issue that often is not noticeable, and can be easily corrected if necessary.
If you are concerned about whether or not you or your family are getting enough fluoride, see your dentist for an exam. Your dentist can determine if you need more fluoride and may suggest fluoride tablets, drops or rinses.
Dr. Jun H Chung and his staff at Lansdowne Dental Arts will be happy to give you a cleaning and exam and discuss your fluoride levels and any other dental issues with you. If you live in the Leesburg, Virginia area, you can make an appointment by calling 703-858-5990. We’re looking forward to your visit!