This natural mineral is a mighty warrior in the world of dental health. Many people don’t understand the basic reasons why fluoride is so important and how to get it! Many people also don’t understand why dentists care so much about getting fluoride!
Why should we care about minerals in dental health?
Each day, minerals are added and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes: demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from the enamel layer when acids attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Naturally, when you start to see too much demineralization and not enough remineralization, tooth decay can set in.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also aids in reversing early decay. In young children under 6 years of age, fluoride incorporates into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize teeth. Fluoride also helps build up minerals on teeth, as well as disrupts acid production already starting on teeth of both children and adults.
Fluoride is naturally found in many foods and water. However, it can also be applied directly to the teeth through toothpastes and rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription. Our Parker dental office can also apply fluoride to the teeth using a gel, foam, or varnish, which contain much higher levels of fluoride than those found in over-the-counter products. Fluoride is especially important for children while their permanent teeth are coming in. However, it is vitally important for adults as well to fight tooth decay and help with tooth sensitivity.
At Burning Tree Family Dental, we believe in the power of prevention, and proper routines of fluoride treatment can help prevent a number of problems for both children and adults.