When you are thinking about ways to optimize and improve your daily dental routine, don’t forget to assess the oral hygiene products you’re using! Today’s article from our Cheney dentists gives you more information about fluoride, a particularly important ingredient in many over-the-counter and professional dental products. Keep reading to learn more…
Get The Facts
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral; you’ll find it in rocks, soil, air, and water.
Fluoride is especially important in the world of dentistry, because it has been shown to re-mineralize, or strengthen, dental enamel. Throughout the day your dental enamel is de-mineralized, or softened, by bacteria and acidic substances. Fluoride helps your teeth counteract this process, so that your smile develops fewer cavities.
In fact, drinking water in the United States is actually enriched with higher levels of fluoride to deliver more enamel re-mineralizing benefits.
Ways To Get Fluoride
If you are cleaning your smile as recommended by your dental team, and you are drinking water throughout the day, then you are probably well on your way to getting the fluoride you need. Additionally, most adult toothpastes, and many mouth rinses, include fluoride, too. Many patients are surprised to learn about how common fluoride is; once they start looking for it, they see it everywhere!
In certain instances, your dentist may recommend that you use professional-strength fluoridated gels or rinses to support re-mineralization. These potent formulations are prescribed by your dental team, and they are not available over-the-counter.
There is one type of patient for whom fluoride can be problematic: pediatric patients who are still developing adult teeth. If these patients ingest too much fluoride (by swallowing toothpaste, for example), they may develop dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a condition characterized be enamel discoloration and textural irregularities. Talk to your dental team if you’re not sure when your child can start using fluoride.
So, there you have it! As you can see, fluoride is a particularly important tool in your oral hygiene toolbox. To learn more about cleaning your smile, or to schedule a personal consultation with our Cheney dentists, please give our office a call!