Protecting Your Kids’ Dental Health at Every Age
As a parent, we know your top priority is ensuring your children's health and well-being. While you may already have a good handle on their physical health, it is important...
Fluoride has the incredible ability to reduce tooth decay. It even helps to repair and remineralize teeth when decay is still in its early stages. All of this makes fluoride one of the best ways to fight cavities.
When a person isn’t getting enough fluoride, it can lead to an increase in dental cavities and even osteoporosis. Learning how to recognize the three warning signs of fluoride deficiency can help you identify a problem before it progresses.
The first sign of a fluoride deficiency is typically an increase in tooth decay. This should be a red flag because bacteria found in plaque collects on teeth. Plaque uses sugars and carbohydrates to produce acids. These acids then wear away your enamel. If you do have cavities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re deficient in fluoride. Cavities have other causes, too, including an excess in sugar intake and failing to take proper care of your teeth.
A lack of fluoride can cause your tooth enamel to become weak and prone to decay. The acids in plaque remove minerals in your tooth’s hard, outer layer called enamel. This type of erosion causes tiny openings or holes in the enamel, the first stage of cavities. Once enamel areas are worn away, the bacteria and avid can reach the deeper layers of your teeth and cause larger cavities.
Your body needs fluoride for healthy bones in addition to healthy teeth. If you are suffering from a true fluoride deficiency, you’re at an increased risk of weak and brittle bones. Older adults diagnosed as prone to bone fractures may have an underlying fluoride deficiency that contributes to their weak or brittle bones.
There are several simple ways to help replenish your body with fluoride if your levels are insufficient. Most methods can be done at home, while other methods require a visit to your dentist.
Drink Water From The Tap
Fluoride has been safely added into public water supply systems for more than 70 years. Additionally, community water fluoridation has been proven to be safe and effective with consistent scientific evidence and studies. Most community water systems fluoridate the drinking water supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control, consuming fluoridated water reduces tooth decay by 25% in children and adults. Fluoride can gain access to the body via the bloodstream by consuming water naturally from the tap.
Brush With Fluoride Toothpaste
Toothpaste is one of the primary sources to ensure fluoride intake. Always look for a toothpaste that contains at least 1250 ppm (parts her million) of fluoride. For a personalized toothpaste recommendation, ask your trusted dental professional, which toothpaste is the best option for your smile at your next exam.
Use Fluoride Mouthwash
Certain brands of mouthwash contain fluoride to help remineralize soft spots and strengthen your tooth enamel. Not all mouthwashes are created equal, and not all brands of mouthwash contain fluoride. Always check the label to ensure you’re purchasing the best mouthwash for your teeth.
Incorporate Professional Fluoride Treatments
If you’re concerned over not getting enough fluoride, discuss professional fluoride treatments with your dentist. This treatment can be performed in various ways, including a fluoride coating that is brushed on or fluoride foam trays. These treatments can provide additional protection against cavities for a few months following treatment.
If you’re concerned about getting too much fluoride, or if your teeth are susceptible to fluorosis, you may recommend limiting your fluoride intake. Whether you’re looking for ways to protect against cavities or worry about health problems and intellectual development issues associated with fluoride, let Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS know at your next exam. We can recommend safe and healthy ways to ensure you and your family receive the recommended amount of fluoride for your smile.