Are you confused about the huge number of toothpaste available today, especially the fluoride ones? Are they truly helpful in fighting tooth decay? Your dentist in Farmington, Dr. Leslie Metzger, makes preventive dentistry the foundation of her dental practice. As such, she often recommends topical fluoride to keep tooth enamel strong, and it’s not just for children. Adults also benefit from this natural and easily applied mineral.
Why Is Fluoride Helpful?
In various forms, dentists have recommended and applied fluoride for decades. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that this natural mineral, either put directly on tooth enamel or taken internally (through drinking water, for example), protects teeth from the breakdown we call cavities. The therapeutic effects of fluoride benefit children and adults, too, even though many adults patients may not think of it as a tool to keep their smiles strong.
How does fluoride work? Basically, it hardens your teeth by putting minerals back into the enamel matrix. Over time, wear and tear degrade our enamel. Fluoride seems to halt the decay process by protecting enamel from the acids we consume in our foods and beverages.
Additionally, the oral bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) present in sticky plaque on and between teeth do more damage than just causing bad breath.These microorganisms secrete acids which break down tooth enamel, leading to decay, gum disease and its serious systemic effects such as heart disease and diabetes.
Fluoride shields our teeth from acid erosion by actually rebuilding the mineral content of tooth enamel. In effect, it stops cavities in their tracks, and as we all know, tooth decay doesn’t go away when we reach adulthood. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that 92 percent of American adults have cavities.
How to Get Sufficient Fluoride
There are many kinds of toothpaste available today–ones that whiten teeth, freshen breath and reduce tartar. The most important toothpaste ingredient still is fluoride, and parents should start using a pea-sized amount with their children once they reach the age of three. Also, many topical mouth washes effectively apply fluoride.
Fluoride treatments from your dentist are the most concentrated way to receive the mineral. Besides hardening enamel, it reduces painful dental sensitivity as it is swabbed on as part of a routine dental appointment.
Additionally, fluoride enters teeth systemically through the water we drink. Most communities in the United States add the mineral to municipal water supplies. Fluoride also comes in drops, pills, and lozenges. Your dentist will tell you what form is best for you.
You Can Strengthen Your Teeth
Dr. Metzger and her team would like to see all their patients–children through seniors–more often than not for basic preventive care. Why not contact the office today to arrange your routine appointment? When you come into Monet Aesthetic Dentisry, please ask how fluoride can help you and your children achieve your strongest and healthiest smiles.