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How Fluoride Benefits Your Dental Health

Dr. Degel Feb 22, 2017

A giant tooth modelThe team at Astoria Dental Group has plenty of options when it comes to the fight against cavities. Using comprehensive general dentistry treatments, we can enhance the health and beauty of your smile by strengthening your teeth. Careful use of fluoride is a common part of improving your smile, and it can start at an early age.

Many people have a spotty idea of what fluoride is and the role it plays in dental health. Let's cover some of the basics about fluoride right now.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in nature. In basic terms, fluoride helps strengthen the enamel layer of your teeth, preventing cavities from forming and keeping your teeth strong and healthy in the process.

Deminaeralization and Reminaeralization

Everyday, a process of deminaeralization and reminaeralization occurs. During deminaeralization, essential minerals are lost from a tooth's enamel due to acidity in the mouth caused by plaque and oral bacteria. Reminaeralization involves fluoride, calcium, and phosphate being redeposited to enamel layer thanks to food, water, and your saliva.

When deminaeralization occurs without sufficient reminaeralization, tooth decay becomes more likely.

Why Is Fluoride So Important?

Fluoride helps make the tooth enamel more resistant to oral bacteria, plaque, and sugars in the mouth. It is also an important part of reversing minor tooth decay and preventing cavities.

Given how important fluoride is for these purposes, intake of fluoride is critical during childhood. Many health experts recommend that regular, healthy intake of fluoride be part of a child's diet between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old. This helps with lasting dental health and cavity resistance in the future.

Sources of Fluoride

There are many sources of fluoride out there. This includes the following:

  • Drinking water
  • Vitamin D milk
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Toothpastes
  • Mouthwashes
  • Fluoride supplements

It's also common for children to undergo fluoride treatments with their dentist during their formative years. Of course, these treatments are carefully monitored, and the use of supplements is also carefully considered by dentists and dental health professionals.

Is It Possible to Get Too Much Fluoride?

Yes, it is possible for a person to have too much fluoride in their system. This is especially important to consider in children who are age 8 and younger.

About Dental Fluorosis

Too much fluoride in developing teeth can lead to dental fluorosis, characterized in mild and moderate cases by white blotches and patches on the teeth. Severe dental fluorosis can cause teeth to be brown in color.

Frequently swallowing toothpaste at a young age is a common cause of this condition. For perspective, swallowed toothpaste has 1,000 times the fluoride per milligram than fluoridated drinking water.

Tips for Avoiding Dental Fluorosis

During a child's formative years, their dentist will carefully monitor fluoride intake. Parents should also be aware of products with fluoride in them, making sure that their children only use these items as advised by their dentist. No toothpaste or mouthwash should be ingested.

Contact Astoria Dental Group

For more information about fluoride and how you can have a healthy and beautiful smile, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at Astoria Dental Group looks forward to your visit and discussing dental wellness with you in greater detail.

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Astoria, NY 11106

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