What Is Flouride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is found in rocks, soil, foods, and all water sources. Studies have shown that fluoride strengthens the teeth and prevents tooth decay. This is important in cavity prevention, which can lead to more serious oral health issues like gum disease.
Dental patients of all ages benefit from fluoride treatments at our dental practice in Charlotte, NC, which can be as simple as using fluoridated toothpaste every time you brush your teeth.
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about whether fluoride is good or bad for our health. Used in small amounts, fluoride is perfectly safe for use. Find out why dentists love this mineral for healthy teeth.
What is the Role of Fluoride in Dental Care?
The outer layer of our teeth is called enamel and made from mineral crystals. Every day, these minerals are lost and gained in a process called demineralization and remineralization.
Demineralization occurs when the bacteria in plaque feed on sugars and carbohydrates in food left behind after we eat. This bacteria party produces acids which are responsible for the loss in tooth enamel.
Remineralization happens when minerals in our saliva like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate repair the lost enamel. If substantial enamel is lost and the saliva is not able to repair quickly enough, this results in cavities and tooth decay.
Fluoride is essential in the prevention of plaque buildup because it makes teeth more resistant to acid attacks. It is especially important that infants and children aged 6 to 16 to receive fluoride because it will help grow strong permanent teeth.
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is conveniently located in Charlotte NC.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article it may be time to see Dr. Stout. Schedule an appointment with Stout Dentistry. Give us a call today at 704.332.7737.
How Can I Safely Use Fluoride to Prevent Cavities?
Fluoride is available in several forms. Over half of the municipal water systems in the United States, including the Charlotte community water, have added fluoride. Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city in the world to add fluoride to the drinking water.
Research has shown that adding safe amounts of fluoride to tap water decreases the number of cavities in dental patients, particularly children and those who live in low-income areas.
Children may receive additional fluoride treatments at their dental appointments. These are applied directly to the teeth using a tray filled with a gel they must hold in their mouth for a short period of time.
Other topical fluoride products include mouth rinses and fluoridated toothpastes. Both methods are safe and effective for children and adults, provided the child has learned not to swallow toothpaste and mouthwash.
Lastly, your dentist may also prescribe fluoride supplements. These are generally suggested for children between the ages of 6 and 16 who are more prone to cavities or do not live in a region with water fluoridation.
Is Fluoride Safe?
There has been a lot of concerns about the health of fluoride as cities around the country determine whether or not to add it to the municipal system.
Public water supplies check the fluoride content on a daily basis, to ensure that they remain at the safe levels (0.7 parts per million).
Consumed in excess, fluoride, like many things we consume, including water, can cause problems. Fluoride overdose is called dental fluorosis and is most common in children under the age of six.
Dental fluorosis can result in white specks and brown discoloration on the tooth enamel of the permanent teeth.
Generally, this occurs when young children swallow toothpaste or live in areas with naturally high levels of fluoride in the water, such as well systems. For this reason, the ADA recommends that parents keep all fluoridated products out of the reach of small children and use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for brushing their teeth.
If you have further questions about how fluoride can affect your oral health, give Stout Dentistry, a family dentist in Charlotte, NC, a call today at 704.332.7737. Our friendly team will schedule an appointment to suit your schedule.