Close up of woman smiling

Our Blog

Chemistry of Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth’s crust and widely distributed in nature.  Some foods and water supplies contain fluoride.  You may be thinking back to your school days when you did a science project on the elements on the periodic table.  Do you remember one with the symbol F?  This was for the chemical Fluorine.  Fluorine is a chemical element.  Its anion, F-, or any of the compounds containing the anion are termed fluorides.  When you hear about fluoride in your drinking water, it comes from adding a fluorine compound which usually consists of sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate or flourosilicic acid.

In the 1930s researchers found that people who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had up to two-thirds fewer cavities than people living in areas not fluoridated.  That research has been confirmed over the many generations because of the marked positive effects it has on tooth decay. 

The fluoride works by concentrating in growing bones and the developing teeth of children.  This helps in hardening the enamel on baby and adult teeth before they emerge.  It also helps harden the enamel on adult teeth that have already emerged.

It’s important to know if you’re getting enough fluoride.  Two factors are good to consider when determining this.  If your drinking water if fluoridated, then making sure you are brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste should be sufficient.  If you discover your water is not fluoridated, you should consult your dentist to see what they would prescribe for you to get more of this in your diet.  Call your local water district to inquire about your water supply and if it is fluoridated, or not.  You can also have it analyzed by an independent environmental testing company.

At Amber Hills Dental we want to discuss your fluoride needs with you. We will help you determine if you are getting enough in your diet, and if not, the proper way to include this into your daily life.

Posted on behalf of Amber Hills Dental