According to the data from the FDI World Dental Federation, tooth decay affects almost all adults and about 60-90% of children in the world. While in the US, more than 16.9% of children, and 31.6% of adults are living with untreated dental caries. Tooth decay doesn’t just cause you many sleepless nights because of toothache, but it can also result in more serious health conditions such as oral cancer.
In response to these startling figures, the World Health Organization, as well as the US government, have made it their duty to make fluoride a factor in our daily lives. With this, fluoride is added in the toothpaste, in the tap water, and in the dental treatments. But what really is fluoride? And how will it benefit you?
What is Fluoride and how is it used today?
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in our foods, water, soil, rock, and even air. It is derived from the element Fluorine which is the 13th most abundant element in the periodic table. For many centuries, fluoride has been added in community water and other dental care products to help prevent cavities. And indeed, the prevalence of tooth decay in the United States has been reduced to 50%-60% since World War II.
Fluoride is found to help reverse the effect of the process of tooth decay by making the tooth enamel stronger; thus, preventing it from wearing out. Today, fluoride is used to help improve our oral health by adding it in our local water supply and many over-the-counter products such as toothpaste, mouth rinse, and food supplements. Dental clinics also added fluoride in their dental treatments and cleanings.
How will Fluoride benefit us?
Fluoride is used in several ways to help prevent cavities in both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even consider community water fluoridation as one of the many public health achievements in the 20th century.
Even when we are young, we have already benefited from fluoride. The foods and vegetables that we have consumed as well as the food supplements contains fluoride which helps in making the tooth enamel strong and more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride from the foods that we consumed also helps remineralize the weakened tooth enamel. While fluoride from toothpaste and other dental treatments will stick to the surface of the teeth, reversing the initial period of tooth decay.
In summary, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can greatly help improve your dental health.