Fluoride With Smart Family Dentistry
In the world of dentistry, preventative measures are a must. Daily home brushing and flossing,
and routine dental cleanings and exams help maintain good oral hygiene.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that dentists use to help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Every day, through the process of demineralization and remineralization, natural minerals are both added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel. Bacteria, present in plaque and tartar, produce acidity that eats away at a tooth’s enamel, causing demineralization. When too many minerals are extracted from the enamel without redepositing minerals, tooth decay begins.
Demineralization - Demineralization is the process of removing the natural minerals from the enamel layer that protect teeth, caused by the acidity present in food or the byproducts of oral bacteria.
Remineralization - Remineralization is the process of re-introducing minerals such as fluoride, calcium, or phosphate into the enamel layer of teeth from food and water sources.
Forms Of Fluoride
Fluoride can be reintroduced in a multitude of manners, the most common of which, is toothpaste. Many toothpaste brands incorporate fluoride into their paste, so it may be directly applied to the surface of the teeth routinely. Smaller doses of fluoride can also be found in many mouthwash brands that are available over the counter. Larger concentrations of fluoride, however, require a prescription.
If larger doses of fluoride are recommended, Dr. Smart has a few options. He may recommend that you use a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste. This will have great effectiveness when used as part of your routine before going to bed. The best way to use it is to thoroughly floss and then brush with the prescription strength toothpaste, spit out completely and then not rinse, letting the residual toothpaste stay on the teeth to get the highest degree of penetration. Another option is to use a highly concentrated fluoride varnish that can be hand painted to the surface of the teeth and hardens when it comes in contact with saliva. Alternatively, a fluoride foam can be placed into a special carrier and applied for a few minutes.
Finally, both liquid and tablet fluoride supplements are available, however, they require a