Laurel, MD Dentist Discusses Dental Fluoride
When dental fluoride is combined with minerals found in the teeth, you are left with stronger enamel that is acid-resistant. This is especially true for children. Here’s what you need to know about fluoride.
Acids in the mouth that are brought on by plaque start to break down the natural minerals of your enamel. This is how demineralization begins. This weakening starts the process of producing small cavities that eventually turn into decay and tooth loss.
If caught early enough, demineralization is reversible. One way of treating this is with dental fluoride.
You’ll find two ways dental fluoride works to ensure healthy tooth enamel. The first method is systemically. Fluoride is found in most drinking water, some foods and additional supplements that can be offered by the dentist or a doctor.
This fluoride replaces crystals in children’s developing enamel with a stronger, decay-resistant crystal containing fluoride. This assures that a child’s teeth are free of decay and remain strong as they continue into adulthood.
Topical fluoride, on the other hand, is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, rinses or administered at the dentist. This helps to remineralize the weakened tooth enamel while strengthening the existing tooth structure. To ensure that you receive enough fluoride to protect your teeth, follow these steps:
• Brush thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
• Rinse with a fluoride product as recommended by the dentist.
• Ensure that your water supply contains fluoride.
• If you need a supplement, be sure to speak with the dentist.
Saliva is also another important aspect of fluoride on the teeth. Because you drink fluoridated water, your saliva has a low level of fluoride in it. This bathes your teeth throughout the day in continued fluoride. We’ve always known that saliva was an important part of cleansing the teeth, now we also understand it prevents decay with the help of fluoride.
In addition, fluoride prevents cavities because it has a direct effect on plaque. As fluoride is introduced in the mouth, acids struggle to produce and cause decay. Fluoride is the protection you have from the enemy invaders that want to take over the mouth. Be sure to speak with your Laurel, MD dentist at your next appointment about how much fluoride you are getting and what you can do better to prevent tooth decay.