What is it?
Fluoride is an ion of the element fluorine. It turns up naturally in a variety of minerals, and is in many of our foods and drinks, often times as an additive. Fluoride most prevalently occurs naturally in the mineral fluorite, from which a lot of the fluoride we use is extracted. Beyond fluorite, fluoride also appears in seawater, some plants and drinking water.
Why Do We Use Fluoride?
As it turns out, fluoride and cavities go together like oil and water. Needless to say, if you want to prevent a cavity, fluoride will be your best friend in doing so. Dentists love to use fluoride in appropriate portions to help keep our teeth as cavity-free as possible!
How Does it Prevent Cavities?
While fluoride and cavities go together like oil and water, fluoride and enamel go together like peas and carrots, insofar as fluoride is really good at hardening your mouth's enamel— and harder enamel goes a long way in preventing cavities. To put it simply, as you're eating, many chemical reactions are happening between things that make contact with each other, some of which can help form cavities. Adding fluoride into the mix helps reduce those cavity-invoking reactions.
My Drinking Water Has Fluoride in it!
Great! That means you're getting just enough fluoride to keep your teeth healthy and strong. However, if your town's drinking water doesn't contain fluoride, then it's likely best that you supplement with a tablet.
But don't worry, because we'll go over the details at your next cleaning, and get you on track toward consuming the right amount of fluoride. Contact our affordable dentist practice in Plainfield, NJ today to schedule a cleaning, and we'll look forward to seeing those pearly whites in no time!