Fluoride — Forget the Nutjobs, See the Benefits

Conspiracy theorists love fluoride. Not because it’s good for their teeth, but because to them it’s a government conspiracy. It’s right up there with the “fake” moon landing, the CIA “killing” JFK, President Obama not being a citizen, and whatever other whackjob conspiracy theory you want to name.

Fluoride, after promising initial scientific studies, was first introduced into U.S. drinking water supplies in the late 1940s to fight tooth decay. From that day forward certain people have claimed it is a communist conspiracy to brainwash the American public.

Fortunately, saner minds prevailed because fluoride is one of the best things a person can ingest to help strengthen their teeth. Here’s some info on this ubiquitous dental mineral.

How does fluouride protect your teeth?

fluoride Shakopee, MNYou could say your mouth is like a gold mine in Cripple Creek. All day every day minerals are coming and going. Demineralization and remineralization — those are the two processes where minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

Another thing the anti-fluoride groups don’t understand is that fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, like it or not. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

In the beginning, it was thought fluoride really only benefitted children and didn’t improve adult teeth, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

Fluoride treatments at O’Brien Dental Care

So, now you know that fluoride is one of your mouth’s best friends. We provide fluoride treatments at O’Brien Dental to give our patients a more concentrated occasional fluoride application. We apply fluoride varnish topically at each appointment of our younger patients. Call us at 952-445-6657 and set up your appointment.




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