Fluoride in Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Water
You’ve heard about fluoride in your toothpaste, in your mouthwash, and even in your tap water. These are the different fluoride sources highly recommended by the dental community and governing bodies, and widely accepted as a tooth decay prevention program. Learn more about the benefits of this mineral on the overall oral health of users, from the youngest to the oldest.
Fluoride is a mineral found in teeth and bones, and is a naturally-occuring element in the environment, like soil, plants and water. It has many applications, but is more commonly used in improving dental health. Fluoride remineralizes the enamel of teeth, strengthening it against the attack of acid and bacteria, and slowing the breakdown of enamel crystals due to continuous use. Hence, though teeth are porous, they remain hard and more resistant to decay with regular fluoride use.
Acids from plaque formation can penetrate the enamel and weaken its structure, a process referred to as demineralization. It can lead to brittle areas on the surface, which may end up as cavities. So it is important to have fluoride defense in your day-to-day routine.
Fluoride in Toothpaste
Majority of toothpaste brands incorporate fluoride as a means of preventing cavities and tooth decay from children to adults. With regular use, brushing with fluoride strengthens weakened spots on teeth and may even reverse the process of cavity formation. It promotes mineralization of the enamel and makes it more resistant to plaque formation and acid attacks.
Fluoride in Mouthwash
Using mouthwashes or rinses does not substitute with regular tooth brushing and flossing. Not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. However, some freshen breath, others provide an anti-cavity benefit, while others contain germicidal components to help prevent plaque buildup. A fluoride mouthwash doesn’t remove plaque, but rather protects the teeth from acids produced by the bacterial plaque.
In many communities, the water system contains safe fluoride levels, again for the benefit of oral health, protecting children and adults. Tap water contains regulated amounts that are safe to drink. Bottled water may not contain fluoride, though. In such cases when fluoride is insufficient, your dentist may recommend other means to obtain the beneficial element, such as fluoride tablets or fluoride drops.
Learning More About Fluoride at Bellevue Overlake Dental
See how fluoride plays an essential role in the oral health of children and adults? It’s about time you include it in your regular dental care routine. Come see your Bellevue dentist for more information.