Fluoride is a superhero mineral when it comes to keeping teeth clean and strong. Our Scituate MA dentist strongly recommends knowing the benefits and taking advantage of fluoride to prevent cavities and decay both in our Scituate dental office and at home.
How Fluoride Strengthens Teeth According To Our Scituate MA Dentist
In The Dentist’s Office
Fluoride works to both combat bacteria and prevent decay as well as strengthen the existing enamel on your teeth. The stronger the enamel, the less likely cavities, white spots, and erosion become. At our Scituate dentist office, you may hear a lot about fluoride! Dentists typically treat patient smiles with either a fluoride foam or varnish treatment after a cleaning. These treatments with high fluoride concentration can be applied 2 to 4 times a year.
Fluoride treatments don’t just happen in the dental office, though. You may be surprised to find out how common fluoride is in your daily life!
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water. However, about 75% of individuals in the U.S. have tap water that has been fluoridated to an appropriate level to prevent tooth decay. This process is safe and regulated. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates and sets standards for fluoride levels in public water. You can find out if your water supply is fortified with fluoride at this CDC site.
Fluoride toothpaste in conjunction with drinking water are the top ways we encounter fluoride. While fluoride toothpaste is useful and safe for adults to use, it is recommended that children use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride each day. Children under the age of 6 tend to swallow more toothpaste than they should, as they are still learning how to brush, rinse, and spit properly. Ingesting too much fluoride in the developmental years can result in fluorosis, which is hypomineralization of the enamel and results in discoloration. Parents are advised to monitor their children as they brush their teeth, as well as purchase toothpaste with low levels of fluoride. You can find fun-tasting, fluoride-free “training toothpaste” in the same aisle as your regular toothpaste.
Our Scituate MA Dentist Discusses Fluoride Products
In the case of adults, developing fluorosis is less likely, and a more common concern is a shortage of fluoride use in adults. Fluoride mouthwash is recommended for daily and weekly use, and fluoride gels can be applied in moderation as well. Should these strategies still not meet your needs, fluoride supplements can be purchased to increase the mineral’s levels too.
If you would like to discuss what level of fluoride use is most appropriate for you and your family, our Scituate dentist will be happy to consult with you!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Luxe Smile Dentistry, with a convenient dental office location near Scituate MA, by clicking here or by calling 781.319.0070.