- July 17, 2015
What do you know about fluoride? It’s in your toothpaste. It’s in your mouthwash. And it’s most likely in your tap water. But why is it so important? And what would happen if you didn’t have all this access to fluoride.
Over the past few decades that water fluoridation has been commonplace, the value of fluoride when it comes to preventive dental care has been proven. Here at the office of Holly Dental Care, we believe that understand how dental care works is as important as practicing it. The more you, the people of Holly, MI, know about your oral health and preventive dental care, the better you will be at making important decisions that affect the state of your smile.
Along with your toothbrush, which removes food, acid, and bacteria from your teeth and gums, fluoride is incredibly effective at building up your teeth’s defences and preventing damage from tooth decay and gum disease, which often go hand in hand.
What Does Fluoride Do?
Direct Contact – When fluoride come in direct contact with your teeth, it forms a film that covers your enamel. This is essentially a protective barrier that fights dental caries, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, and prevents it from forming plaque.
Dental caries damage your teeth by converting sugar into a very corrosive acid that eats away at your enamel. Fluoride inhibits this process, slowing until the bacteria and sugar can be cleaned away by your saliva.
But fluoride does more that simply protect your teeth from decay, it actually aids in reversing it. Your body has a way of naturally repairing your teeth in a process called remineralization. This is when calcium and other minerals are used to rebuild your weakened enamel. When fluoride forms its protective layer on your teeth, it allows this process to happen more quickly.
Ingested – Fluoride that is taken into your body via your stomach and bloodstream helps to build strong teeth. When your teeth are developing, fluoride makes the enamel stronger, which is why access to fluoride is so important for children. When a child’s enamel is fortified with fluoride during development, the child will have stronger teeth and fewer cavities.
Where Do You Get Fluoride?
Toothpaste – If you are using a toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride, all that toothpaste is doing is freshening your breath. The physical act of brushing your teeth, even without toothpaste, actually does a lot to protect your oral health. But with the help of a fluoride toothpaste, brushing becomes even more effective.
Mouthwash – There are many mouthwashes out there, and some of them have oral health benefits. But many of them are just breath fresheners, and the ones that contain alcohol could damage your oral health. If you want a mouthwash that is going to protect you from cavities, read the ingredients list to make sure it contains fluoride.
Tap Water – Public water fluoridation began in 1945, and over the decades since, the rate of tooth decay has steadily dropped. Water fluoridation has been such success, that many consider it to be one of the most important public health innovations of the 20th century. European countries have even started adopting the practice.
Holly Dental Care Can Help With Tooth Decay Prevention
Although home health care is of paramount importance, you still need to seek professional dental care a couple of times a year. Visit our office in Holly, MI, and we will provide cleanings, examinations, and preventive care that will keep you smiling for years to come.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.