Fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water, is lost every day from a tooth’s enamel through demineralization. And, in similar fashion, minerals like fluoride are added through a process known as remineralization from the foods and water consumed. If the amount of fluoride that is lost from the tooth’s enamel is greater than its redeposition, tooth decay can occur.
In order to prevent tooth decay, read more about the various sources of fluoride, the important times at which fluoride intake should be maximized, and the benefits of bottled versus tap water below.
Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride is found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. In particular, high amounts of fluoride are found in cucumbers, grape juice, spinach, tomato products, and carrots. Fluoride is also found in water. Additionally, many toothpastes and mouth rinses are fluoridated.
Critical Stages of Intake
Though fluoride is important during all stages of life, it is especially important during the ages of 6 and 16 as this is the time in which permanent teeth come in. Because of this, it is critical to emphasize the importance of brushing, healthy eating habits, and water intake at a young age. Additionally, fluoride intake is also important for individuals who suffer with dry mouth, gum disease, and a history of cavities.
Bottled Water vs. Tap
The American Dental Association (ADA) has said that it is possible for individuals who drink bottled water to miss out on the fluoridated benefits that their community water source provides. Check the label on your bottled water before purchasing to ensure that it is fluoridated. Regarding your tap water, it is estimated that 62% of the U.S. population served by the public water supplies has adequate access to fluoride in its tap water.
To learn more about the benefits of fluoride and your teeth, speak with your dentist today.