Healthy teeth are important not just for a good looking smile, but also for your overall health. Having strong teeth prevents cavities, decay, and problems with the gums and other various types of periodontal diseases. A healthy mouth and teeth means that your teeth stay in place and remain strong. This will help you to chew your food properly and to speak properly. One way of keeping teeth strong is with the help of fluoride, which hardens the enamel of your teeth and keeps them strong.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in some foods and water supplies. Because it helps reduce tooth decay, fluoride is often added to drinking water, and is also found in toothpaste. People who grow up drinking water with fluoride and using fluoride rich toothpaste tend to have fewer cavities and are less prone to problems with decay.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride helps to harden the enamel in teeth, making teeth stronger, which make them less susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. It concentrates in the bones and developing teeth of young children, hardening the enamel on both baby teeth and adult teeth. The presence of fluoride also hardens the enamel of adult teeth, so it's never too late to make your teeth stronger. Fluoride also works when your saliva takes away the minerals from your teeth, especially after you eat. It helps to make those minerals stronger, thereby making your teeth stronger as well.
How do I know if I'm getting Enough Fluoride?
If you have healthy teeth and your risk of tooth decay is low, drinking water with fluoride in it, and brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is considered enough. If you don't have fluoride in the water that you drink, you may need fluoride tablets or drops which can be prescribed by your dentist. He or she will be able to tell how much fluoride you need, and how much more you need to add if you're not getting enough.
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- What is fluoride? How does it work? How do I know if I am getting enough?