Fluoride & It’s Supplements – A Complete Guide
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in our bones and teeth. Fluoride is essential to maintain and solidify our bones and to prevent tooth decay. It is present in drinking water in low concentrations.
It enters the body through water, air, and supplements containing fluoride. It occurs naturally in water bodies like oceans, lakes, and rivers. When it comes to our general well-being and nutrition, fluoride is known as a trace element that forms a relatively low percentage of our body’s composition.
Health Benefits of Fluoride
Prevents Tooth Decay
Fluoride has the power to protect our teeth from tooth decay. It prevents tooth decaying in both infants and adults alike. Fluoride causes this beneficial impact on the teeth through its direct contact with the teeth.
Before our teeth break through the gums, the fluoride consumed from food, liquids and maybe fluoride supplements contributes to strengthening the tooth enamel. Once the teeth come out, fluoride takes our teeth through a process of remineralization where it rebuilds the tooth enamel that’s weak and hence reverses symptoms that lead to tooth decay.
It also provides typical benefits like,
The fluoride content present in our toothpaste and other dental products comes in direct contact with the surface of our teeth hence forming a protective layer around it.
The small amounts of fluoride that we take in through diet get mixed with our saliva and constantly keeps drenching our teeth with small amounts of it. This washing of the teeth with fluoride repairs tooth enamel that has gone weak and is close to decay.
Promotes Dental Health
Fluoride has been an indispensable part of dentistry treatments for ages. As it is a natural mineral found in rock, soil, and water, it is abundantly present. It helps build strong teeth that are free from cavities as it also prevents early signs of tooth caries, also known as tooth cavities.
Fluoride is beneficial for our overall oral health as it has the capacity to fight ugly bacteria within our mouth that threaten to harm teeth and gums. It supports the strength of the outer protective layer of each tooth, the tooth enamel.
You need especially focus on including fluoride in your regimen when you are running at a high risk of developing cavities in your teeth.
Prevents Growth of Bacteria In The Mouth
Fluoride inhibits the growth of certain bacteria that may cause the decaying of teeth in the future. It does so by lowering the pH balance in the mouth which makes the entire area inside the mouth more acidic and bacteria in acidic nature can’t survive long.
That’s how fluoride creates a less hospitable environment for bacteria in our mouths.
Mineralization is the process of hardening the chemical on the teeth. This hardening effect prevents the demineralization of teeth, also known as the breakdown of teeth. What fluoride does is, combines with the teeth to form an essential component called “fluorapatite” which helps with the mineralization process.
The mineralization process that occurs with the help of fluorapatite helps the teeth in resisting damage caused by food, beverages, and bacteria.
Major Sources of Fluoride
Even though fluoride is widely present in our everyday life, it is available in extremely small amounts. Major sources of fluoride are,
- Oatmeal and other cereals
- Baby supplements
- Canned fruits
Ideal Fluoride Intake Chart
The recommended daily intake of fluoride depends on age,
Side Effects of Excess Fluoride
Like every other medication in the market and every mineral composition in the body, even excessive amounts of fluoride can cause negative effects.
A higher amount of fluoride can reach your system through accidental high dosages. Although it’s very rare, chronic excess of fluoride harms the bones’ & teeth.
- Symptoms of too much fluoride can include,
- Ugly white stains on teeth
- Pitting on teeth
- Bone homeostasis
- Weak bones
Fluoride Supplements – What You Should Know?
Even though fluoride is naturally available in water that we drink and in many of the food that we eat, the content of fluoride present in all these sources is small. Even the food that contains the highest concentration of fluoride makes up only 2% to 4% of daily serving. Hence, it becomes difficult to achieve sufficient fluoride levels through diet alone.
Fluoride supplements are available in two different formats,
Topical supplements include self-applied fluorides like toothpaste, mouth wash gels, and also professionally applied higher-strengths fluoride like foam, fluoride varnishes and fluoride gels.
Systematic supplements include water with fluoride, salt, and tablets,
Topical fluorides work by making the teeth stronger and preventing future decay while systematic fluorides are consumed internally to form key components of the teeth structure.
Systematic fluorides also provide topical protection as it gets mixed with saliva and continues to wash our teeth with the fluoride formula.
Fluoride infused toothpaste is the most commonly used self-applied form of fluoride across the globe.
The fluoride content found in toothpaste interacts directly with the dental plaque helps with the demineralization of enamel and combines with saliva to increase the concentration of fluoride in the saliva.
Mouthwashes are a concentrated solution meant to be used regularly or twice per week. The fluoride concentration in mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay by being present in the dental plaque and saliva.
Professionally Used Fluoride
More concentrated than self-applied fluorides, professional fluorides are available in the form of gels, foam, and varnishes and are applied by a dental professional. It increases the acidic environment inside the mouth which inhibits bacterial growth.
Dietary Fluoride Supplements
Dietary fluoride supplements are available in tablets and lozenge forms and contain sodium fluoride as the most active ingredient.
They are often prescribed for kids aged between 6 months to 16 years who suffer from tooth decaying.
Minerals are such an important part of our diet please explore this site to learn more about them.