Our Orland Park dentists have found that the more our patients know and understand about dental care, the more empowered they are to make good decisions for their respective smiles. With that in mind, today we’re going to be talking about the importance of a particularly ubiquitous ingredient in dental care: fluoride…
Get The Facts
Fluoride is a mineral that is found in a number of natural elements, like the soil, air and water. Fluoride has an important beneficial effect for humans; it helps to strengthen our teeth, so that they are better able to resist bacterial infection.
When your dental enamel comes into contact with bacteria and acidic substances, it temporarily softened, and weaker than usual. Fluoride re-mineralizes enamel, so that it is hard and resilient again. In fact, fluoride is so crucial to oral health, that, in the United States, we’ve further enriched drinking water with additional fluoride.
Ways To Get Fluoride
You are off to a good start getting the fluoride you need from tap water if you are staying hydrated throughout the day, and cleaning your smile as recommended by your dental team. You can add even more fluoride into your routine by choosing a toothpaste or mouth rinse that is also fluoridated; you’ll find a wide variety of options on the market, today.
Finally, there are more potent fluoridated topical gels and mouth rinses that your dentist can prescribe, if necessary. Talk to your dental team if you think you may benefit from this type of care.
On the whole, fluoride is beneficial for our smiles. The exception is that young patients who are still developing adult teeth should not consume large amounts of fluoride (by swallowing toothpaste, for example). Ingesting too much fluoride in this developmental stage can cause dental fluorosis, a condition in which permanent teeth develop with discoloration and pitted surfaces. If you aren’t sure whether your child is ready for fluoridated products, you can always double-check with our dental team.
And, of course, if you have more questions about fluoride, or oral hygiene products in general, our Tinley Park dentists are here to help you in any way we can. Give us a call to get started! Or use the Contact Us page on our site to submit a question.