November 13, 2018
You work hard to keep your family’s smiles cavity-free. You encourage the proper oral hygiene habits at home and take them to their dentist regularly, but you may be overlooking a vital component to keeping their enamel strong. Fluoride is known as “nature’s cavity fighter” because it naturally strengthens the outer layer of the teeth to ward off cavities. It is found in public water sources, many toothpastes, and even as a preventive treatment from your dentist.
Combating Tooth Decay
Although cavities are preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 25% of children 2 to 5 years old and 50% of adolescents have one or more. In addition, at least 92% of adults have had at least one in a permanent tooth. While brushing and flossing are important for preventing tooth decay, it may not be enough. You can reduce your family’s risk of cavities with fluoride. Research shows fluorinated water alone can reduce cavities by 20% to 40%.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Your teeth are composed of various layers. The hard outer layer you see is your enamel. Underneath it is the dentin, which contains small tubes connecting to the inner layer called the pulp, which is the nerve center of your tooth. When you consume sugars, they combine with your saliva to form an acid. As it sits on your teeth, it slowly eats away at your enamel until it causes a cavity. If it is not treated quickly, it can reach the dentin or the pulp.
Fluoride works with calcium and phosphate to create a defense system for your enamel. It helps to remineralize your enamel to repair erosion. Although it cannot reverse tooth decay, it can help to replenish areas of weakened enamel before a cavity develops.
How Can I Get Fluoride?
You may not know it, but you ingest fluoride daily. Not only is it found in public water but also in many other foods and drinks. To ensure your loved ones receive adequate amounts of it, the American Dental Association recommends they use a fluoride toothpaste when brushing their teeth.
In addition to receiving its protection at home, your dentist offers it as a preventive treatment. During your routine visits, a fluoride varnish is applied to the teeth to help make them cavity-resistant. It is a simple, pain-free treatment to protect your family’s smiles from tooth decay.
Get the Protection of Fluoride
As you work to keep your family’s teeth cavity-free at home, do not forget to ask your dentist about a fluoride treatment during their next dental appointment. With an added layer of protection, you can help to ensure their smiles stay healthy and beautiful.
About Dr. Bita Kamali
Dr. Bita Kamali focuses on preventive dentistry to create generations of healthy smiles. Even with the best care, an issue may arise. She uses the latest treatments to quickly rehabilitate her patients’ oral health. If you need a dentist who is passionate about your dental health goals, contact Parkway Vista Dental today to schedule an appointment.