Fluoride is an ion of the element fluorine. Fluoride is an important element in human nutrition and should be taken in small doses. Scientific research has proven that the daily intake of small doses of fluoride strengthens tooth enamel. It has also been proven that topical exposure (i.e. applying fluoride to the tooth surface) rejuvenates tooth structure in young children, adults, and the elderly.
Waters, rocks, soil, and living tissue all have naturally occurring fluoride in various amounts. Crystalline and carbonate minerals containing fluoride can be found near the earth’s crust. As water flows, fluoride and many other ions dissolve from the sedimentary rock and mix with the water. Hence, fluoride ions are directly absorbed from the water we drink.
An adequate intake of fluoride via drinking water (approximately one part per million or ppm) can strengthen teeth, prevent tooth decay, and promote overall wellness. In many societies, fluoride is added to drinking water and public water supplies by government mandate. In places where water supplies are not fluoridated, sodium fluoride supplements may be given to children and the elderly to strengthen their teeth. Sodium fluoride is available in tablet form, drops, mouthwashes, gels, and in toothpastes.
As beneficial as fluoride is, there may be some temporary side effects such as white flecks on the teeth, while overconsumption may produce a yellowish-brown tint on the teeth. Moreover, as may be advised by a myrtle beach dentist, fluoride supplements should not be taken if the fluoride content of drinking water exceeds 0.7ppm.
In studies of diverse communities over a span of several decades, it has become clear that there is considerable benefit to maintaining proper fluoride levels in public water supplies. Communal water fluoridation is intended to provide concentrations of fluoride ranging from 0.7 to 1.2 ppm. Research has proven that water fluoridation not only benefits teeth enamel, but also strengthens bones and overall constitution. Water fluoridation also reduces dental caries and oral diseases by as much as 20% to 40%, lessening possible visits to the myrtle beach dentist. Additional sources of fluoride have led to the reduced rates of dental carries in American communities.
Generally, fluoride concentrate is about 230 ppm in mouthwash; 1,000 ppm in toothpaste; with professionally applied fluoride gels containing 10,000 to 12,300 ppm. Flouride gels such as these need to be applied, though, with the assistance of a myrtle beach dentist.