Fluoride and Dental Care

By: J. Shahangian, DDS, MS- San Diego Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

About Fluoride
The dental community has highly regarded the use of fluoride for decades as being an important mineral for strengthening teeth enamel because fluoride mineralized the enamel of the teeth.  This strengthening of the teeth prevents the deterioration of tooth structures and decay.
Did you know that almost all U.S. community public drinking places and services have sodium fluoride in the water because it helps fight cavities and it is safe?

In other places like private wells, there is naturally fluorinated water.

What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that is safe.  It is even found in the air we breathe.

Why is fluoride important to teeth?
Fluoride fortifies bones and teeth by absorbing into these structures.  Thus, fluoride makes bones and teeth resistant to decay and fractures.  This process is called “reminiarlizaion”, a process in which the fluoride repairs damage caused by decay.

How do I get fluoride?
You can take fluoride as simply as drinking water.  Water contains certain amounts of fluoride protection.  Health professionals for many years supported fluoride supplement intake with some dietary products, toothpastes with topical fluorides, and even some kind of mouth rinses.  Some beverages, such as soda and tea, also contain fluoride.  Even some dental gels and varnishes may be applied on the teeth to increase fluoride intake.

Current controversy
It is unsafe to swallow mouth rinses, toothpastes, and other products that contain fluoride.  In rare cases, people have suffered fluorosis due to over-exposure to high levels of fluoride.  These rare cases of fluoride can result in dark stains on the enamel of the teeth.[1]



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