The last several years have seen a lot of shifts in the quality of consumer products. With the rise of available information, people are paying more and more attention to the quality of the foods they consume and products they buy. While you are starting to see a rise in easily accessible organic foods, even the products in the toiletry section of the store are starting to have words like “natural” and “organic” more regularly on the shelf as well. This shift has caused some confusion about the role of fluoride in oral health. We’re here to look at why fluoride is still highly recommended today.
Fluoride is Natural
If going natural is an important part of your lifestyle, then you are actually still in luck! Fluoride is a natural ionic compound that is found mostly in phosphate rocks. When there isn’t the right amount of fluoride in our water sources to protect our teeth, fluoride is extracted from phosphate rocks, liquefied, and then added to the water for everyone to benefit from. This is why every toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance has fluoride in it. So, while the word “additive” might make you feel on edge, remember that fluoride is a natural compound that has increasingly improved oral hygiene over the last several decades, and you only have to benefit from it!
The Introduction of Fluoride
Before fluoride was added to community water supplies in the mid 1940’s, kids and adults suffered from three times the amount of cavities, resulting in greater dental problems down the road. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers the addition of fluoride into community water as one of the top 10 greatest health achievements of the 20th century.
Prevents Cavities and Decay
Because the food you eat causes bacteria to develop in your mouth that breaks down the protective layer on your teeth (the enamel), cavities begin to form on and in between your teeth. When you brush with fluoride toothpaste, you are reinforcing the natural protective layer on your teeth. As fluoride bonds together with your enamel, your teeth become much more resilient to the bacteria and acids that form in your mouth that destroy them. In fact, brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that does not have any fluoride does almost nothing in the prevention of cavities and tooth decay. It is possible that fluoride free toothpaste might assist in fresher breath, but it does very little in the prevention of tooth decay.
Helps Prevent Other Illnesses
Poor oral hygiene is now being linked to a wide range of other illnesses, so brushing with fluoride toothpaste might be saving you from more than just a couple of cavities! Infections of the bones supporting the teeth, along with dental abscesses, can be caused by bacteria in your teeth and gums. Some studies are also linking poor oral health to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Bleeding gums from untreated gingivitis can cause an infection in your bloodstream as well. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is a simple and cost efficient solution that can help you stay healthy in more ways than one!
Not sure if you’re using the right type of toothpaste for your teeth? Contact Carothers Family Dental to make an appointment with a San Marcos dentist and to start improving your oral health.