Fluoride Decay Prevention
One of the common questions we’re asked here at Lifetime Dental is whether or not the use of fluoride is beneficial to the teeth. Studies have shown that fluoride offers benefits not only to children but also to adults. In fact, it has been proven to help prevent tooth decay.
How Fluoride Aids in the Prevention of Tooth Decay
Fluoride plays a role in 3 specific anti-cavity activities. First, it promotes remineralization of the teeth. Remineralization is an important process and when fluoride is absorbed onto the teeth’s surface, it attracts other minerals like calcium to the area where tooth decay is starting to form. When this happens, reformation of teeth minerals occurs.
Fluoride also makes our teeth more resistant to decay. When it is present during remineralization, it forms a very hard mineral called fluorapatite which makes the teeth more resistant to damage.
Finally, fluoride decreases the production of bacterial acid because it can inhibit the ability of bacteria to produce this waste product.
Which Fluoride Products to Use?
You can use toothpaste that contains fluoride as long as they have the ADA’s Seal of Approval. This is proof that the product has been reviewed by the American Dental Association and has been found to contain just the right amount of fluoride. There are also rinses that you can buy which contain Fluoride. Again, look for the ADA’s Seal Approval in these products.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Fluoride is considered safe if taken in the right amounts. However, a condition called dental fluorosis has been found in some people especially children. It’s a type of tooth staining due to exposure to high amounts of fluoride. People who have this condition have what are known as fluorosis stains. The vast majority of cases in the US are mild characterized by opaque white patches or chalky white lines on the enamel of the teeth.
Children are most at risk of this condition particularly those who are under 7 years old. But it is highly preventable. Just see to it that your child knows how to brush his teeth properly and that only a small amount of tooth paste is used every time he brushes. Kids under 2 years old should only be given an unfluoridated tooth cleanser.
Fluoride is necessary for people with poor oral hygiene, have diets high in carbs and fat, and those who do not see their dentist regularly. If you want to prevent tooth decay, you will need fluoride treatment. For more information about the benefits of fluoride or if you want to know how it can benefit you, please call us at (909) 483-0812.