According to a recent study, brushing and flossing alone isn't enough to keep cavities at bay if your toothpaste is fluoride-free. Fluoride is an essential mineral found in many foods and water sources. Minerals are replaced from the enamel every day through two processes: remineralization and demineralization.
What are Demineralization and Remineralization?
When acids generated by plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth damage the enamel layer of a tooth, minerals are lost (demineralization). Minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are deposited (remineralized) in the enamel layer, thanks to the water we drink and the toothpaste we use. Too much demineralization and insufficient remineralization to rebuild the enamel layer result in tooth decay.
Fluoride eliminates tooth decay by strengthening your teeth against acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and carbohydrates in the mouth. It also helps to reverse the effects of early deterioration. Fluoride is incorporated into the growth of permanent teeth in children under the age of six, making it harder for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also aids in the remineralization of already-erupted teeth in both children and adults, as well as disrupting acid formation.
How Can Your Family Receive Fluoride?
Fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses can be used directly on the teeth. Mouth rinses with a low fluoride concentration can normally be obtained over the counter, whereas those with a greater fluoride content may require a prescription. Fluoride supplements are also available with a prescription from your dentist in liquid or tablet form.
Fluoride treatments are available at the offices of many dentists, particularly pediatric dentists. These treatments have a substantially greater fluoride concentration and are given to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. Varnishes are usually applied directly to the teeth, whereas foams are applied into a mouth guard and left there for one to four minutes.
Fluoride toothpaste is not necessary for babies whose teeth have not yet emerged. Brush your child's teeth twice a day with a small smear (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste if they are under the age of three and twice a day with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste if they are three years old or older.
Fluoride treatments are frequently repeated every six or twelve months, depending on the needs of the patient. You must be receiving an apt amount of fluoride to fight cavities or tooth decay.
Please reach out to Persimmon Dental Care in Dublin, CA, to have a consultation with our dentists. Please call us at (925) 999-8282 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.