When was the last time you had a fluoride treatment? If you think it’s just for kids, think again. Fluoride has been shown to protect teeth in patients of all ages.
Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Soil, water, plants, and foods contain trace amounts of it. You can get the recommended amount of fluoride in several ways, including:
- In-office treatment: Many dentists offer fluoride gel, foam, or varnish at the end of each dental cleaning. Periodically receiving in-office fluoride is important because it comes in a higher concentration than other sources. This is one of the best, easiest, and cheapest ways to avoid future dental problems.
- Fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse: Unless your dentist recommends otherwise, you should brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Don’t forget to floss once a day as well! Fluoride mouth rinse is another way to booth your fluoride intake. Prescription-strength toothpaste and mouth rinses are also available.
- Drinking water: In most places, including Brooklyn, the municipal water supply is fluoridated to help improve public oral health.
Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is the best cavity fighter out there! It does an excellent job of keeping your mouth cavity-free, no matter your age. Here’s how:
- Prevent and reverse tooth decay: When you eat, acid and bacteria attack your teeth and cause plaque to form. This weakens your enamel and causes decay and cavities. Fluoride thwarts this outcome by rebuilding damaged surfaces through a process called remineralization. This makes your teeth harder and less porous. The effect is so powerful that fluoride can even reverse early signs of decay, stopping cavities before they fully form.
- Counteract the effects of dry mouth: Saliva is a natural source of remineralization, so your teeth are more vulnerable to decay if you have dry mouth. Several medical conditions and prescription drugs can cause this condition. But no matter the cause, fluoride can help offset the effects of dry mouth.
- Protect exposed tooth roots: Receding gums leave sensitive tooth roots exposed to bacteria and acid. Fluoride rebuilds these surfaces to help prevent root decay.
- Prevent cavities around existing dental work: If you have fillings, crowns, or bridges, you have a higher risk for tooth decay because bacteria like to hide in the areas around dental work. Fortunately, fluoride can protect these vulnerable tooth margins and prevent your existing restoration work from causing future cavities.
The most important takeaway here is that fluoride is critical for maintaining a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile at any age! If you have questions about fluoride and how it can benefit your oral health, please reach out to Beyond Dentistry Laser Center. Our dentist, Dr. Simon Kappel, has 45 years of cosmetic and general dentistry experience. He uses cutting-edge dental techniques and technology to help you smile with confidence for years to come. Call our Brooklyn office today at 718-436-0202 or contact us online to ask questions or request a consultation with Dr. Kappel.