518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
Call 09 834 6359

If you’ve ever wondered, ‘What is fluoride, and what does it do?’ this article is a must-read.

In it, we’re going to explain what it is and how it’s used. This will help you understand the benefits of fluoride and how it can protect your teeth.

At Opal Dental, your local dentist for Te Atatu, we love educating our patients. This post will help you understand why fluoride is important and the role it plays in your oral health.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in water, soil and plants. It strengthens tooth enamel, the hard outer coating of your teeth, and keeps bones healthy too.

What is fluoride used for?

The main use of fluoride is to improve dental health. It does this in a variety of ways. It slows down mineral loss from enamel and helps rebuild weak enamel. Fluoride also helps to reverse tooth decay in its early stages and stop bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Other than helping to keep teeth healthy, fluoride has other uses. It is used in PET (positron emission tomography) scans to look at bones and see if they are affected by disease. Fluoride is also used in manufacturing to make products out of steel and aluminium.

How is fluoride used to help my teeth?

Most of us use fluoride every day since it’s an ingredient in many brands of toothpaste.

It’s also used in mouthwash that you can buy from the pharmacist. Your dentist may prescribe a higher-strength fluoride mouthwash if you are at risk of tooth decay and need fillings often.

Dentists can apply fluoride varnish to teeth to strengthen enamel. It is often applied to children’s teeth but can be used for adults too.

Fluoride supplements are also available. You can buy fluoride drops for children or find multivitamin tablets that contain fluoride.

Some local authorities add fluoride to drinking water to reduce levels of tooth decay.

Which foods and drinks have high fluoride levels?

Some foods and drinks contain fluoride. Those with the highest levels of fluoride include:

  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Shrimps
  • Grape juice
  • Wine
  • Raisins

Be aware that the levels of fluoride in food and drink alone may not be enough to help protect your teeth against decay.

Are there risks linked to fluoride?

Dental fluorosis can occur when children consume too much fluoride while their teeth are developing. This causes white or brown spots on the teeth, and sometimes small dents, but doesn’t cause any harmful effects.

You should supervise children when they are brushing their teeth to stop them from swallowing toothpaste. This can help prevent fluorosis.

If you experienced fluorosis as a child and are concerned about the appearance of your teeth, ask your dentist about whitening or veneers.

Skeletal fluorosis is a very rare condition linked to consuming too much fluoride over a long period. Symptoms include nerve issues, joint pains, weak bones and muscle loss.

Talk fluoride with your dentist in Te Atatu

Fluoride is essential to keep your teeth healthy and protect them from decay. If you’d like to know more about how fluoride can help, come and see us at Opal Dental.

Book a check-up appointment so we can talk about fluoride and other ways you can keep your teeth and gums disease-free.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!