What Does Fluoride Do?

Excerpt: Fluoride has been scientifically proven to be incredibly useful for our oral health, as shown in the National Library Of Medicine.
Table of Contents

Summary

Fluoride strengthens the enamel on your teeth. It protects them from decay and the acid that forms in your mouth as a result of the naturally-occurring bacteria.

Fluoride has been scientifically proven to be incredibly useful for our oral health, as shown in the National Library Of Medicine. Since your teeth health is critically important to digesting foods and important nutrients, it is also vitally important to maintaining your overall health as well.

What Does Fluoride Do?

Fluoride protects and strengthens your teeth in numerous ways. Fluoride is a mineral found in water (both salt and fresh water), soil, and many different foods. The end result of fluoride use will be decreased sensitivity, decreased tooth decay, and less breakage due to trauma. It should be noted that the effects of fluoride are topical as well as when it’s digested, meaning you can gain the benefit of applying it to the surface of your teeth without actually swallowing fluoride. If you do swallow toothpaste or other fluoride-containing products on a regular basis, the amount of fluoride in your system may turn toxic, and you could risk fluorosis.
 
Fluoride has been extensively studied by dentists and scientists for decades now with proven research that backs up their claims.

Do You Need Fluoride?

Yes, you do need fluoride, your teeth will benefit greatly from getting your recommended amount of fluoride. However, you may not need to worry about actively getting enough fluoride if you have a healthy diet, brush your teeth regularly, and your municipal district has fluoride in the water supply. If you use “natural” or organic toothpaste, fluoride may not be an ingredient. We would recommend that you check and make sure that it is a component of the dental products you are using.

If you’re wondering if you’re getting too much or too little fluoride, you can always make a dentist appointment and ask their opinion on this issue.

How Much Fluoride Do You Need?

Too much fluoride is not good, and too little fluoride is also not good, so what’s the right amount? The National Institute Of Health recommends the following amount of daily fluoride consumption.


  • Birth to 6 months – 0.01 mg
  • Infants 7–12 months – 0.5 mg
  • Children 1–3 years -0.7 mg
  • Children 4–8 years -1 mg
  • Children 9–13 years – 2 mg
  • Teens 14–18 years – 3 mg
  • Adult men 19+ years – 4 mg
  • Adult women 19+ years – 3 mg
  • Pregnant teens and women – 3 mg
  • Breastfeeding teens and women – 3 mg

Who Requires Extra Fluoride?

Certain individuals will require more fluoride than others, these are patients who:

Taking certain medications

Certain medications may induce dry mouth, or reduce saliva production, which can increase your risk of tooth decay.

Are affected by the gum recession

If you have receding gums, your teeth may need more protection from the fluoride.
Are having restorative work done – Restorative work can impact your dental health, having more fluoride will decrease this risk.

Receiving orthodontic treatment

Different dental appliances can make dental hygiene a tough task, increasing your fluoride amount will help offset this issue.

Have ongoing sensitive teeth

If you have a tooth sensitivity issue, you may need to strengthen your enamel, which can be achieved by fluoride.

Are getting radiation treatment

Radiation can affect saliva flow among other things, and this can promote tooth decay over time.

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Where Does Fluoride Come From?

Water 

Fresh and saltwater both contain fluoride. Your municipal district may also use fluoridation to increase the amount of fluoride in the water supply.

Food

A number of different foods and beverages contain fluoride. Try to eat natural, unprocessed foods to get the most benefit out of them.

Oral Health Products

Most dental products will contain some level of fluoride. If you are using natural or organic products, it may not be an ingredient, you should always check the ingredients in the products you are using.

Can You Get Too Much Fluoride?

Yes, however, this is fairly uncommon. It may occur if you are prone to swallowing your oral care products, or if you use fluoride formulated products when you do not need to. If you have too much fluoride in your body, you can get dental or skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis can cause white spots to form on your teeth, as well as discoloration to happen among other things. Your dentist should easily be able to tell if you are inflicted with dental fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis can make your bones harden, however, this is an extremely rare condition. 

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